By Curt Yeomans curt.yeomans@gwinnettdailypost.com

Officials at the Norcross Cooperative Ministry ended the week with some big news: The organization is changing its name as it faces a significantly higher demand for its services.

The co-op announced that it will now be known as Neighborhood Cooperative Ministry. The change is intended to reflect the 32-year-old co-op’s efforts to help homeless and low income residents across southwest Gwinnett County, including the Norcross, Peachtree Corners, Doraville and Tucker areas.

“The drive for changing our name originated with a desire to better define who ALL we serve in Southwest Gwinnett County,” officials at the co-op said in an announcement about the new name. “Neighborhood Cooperative Ministries serves a broader area than just Norcross.”

While the new name is significant news for the co-op, its officials are putting the focus on community needs that have increased during the COVID-19 novel coronavirus pandemic. The organization works with people in need to get them food, clothing and financial assistance, and is supported by local churches, businesses, civic and social organizations, foundations and individual donors in that effort.

The pandemic has taxed the co-op’s resources significantly and officials said they are in need of donations from the community.

The co-op has continued to operate during the pandemic, and officials said there have been more than 100 cars in food lines on the organization’s distribution days since late March.

In the span of one month, from late February to late March, the number of clients the co-op serves per week increased 526%, going from 125 clients to 783 clients, the organization said. It also said the total pounds of food that it distributes increased 710% during that month.

“NCM food supplies are running low, and the Atlanta Food Bank and grocery stores that routinely help NCM with food supplies, are unable to do so during this pandemic due to their own needs and demands,” co-op officials said.

Canned food items can be donated from 10 a.m. to noon on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays during May at the co-op’s satellite food truck, which is located at The Piedmont Bank at 5100 Peachtree Parkway in Peachtree Corners. Donations can also be made at the co-op’s warehouse, which is located at 500 Pinnacle Court in Norcross.

Officials said members of the community can also make financial donations through the co-op’s website, which can be found at www.ourncm.org.

We will be OPEN on Martin Luther King Day, Monday, January 18th.

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