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Oakhurst co-op connects neighbors through meals

Decatur Kirkwood and East Lake slideshow

Oakhurst co-op connects neighbors through meals


Photo obtained via Facebook

This story has been updated. 

Oakhurst residents, Kristin Lee and Laura McMahan started Oakhurst Warm Meals, and since last January, their neighborhood has helped families by donating 93 meals to people living in Decatur.

Lee and McMahan were inspired to start the group when “a neighbor who made a large amount of chili was looking for someone who could use a warm meal to share her dinner.”

“The post received so much attention, saying what a great neighborly thing, that Kristin and I thought this would be a wonderful regular occurrence,” McMahan said.

Lee and McMahan receive referrals for people who need the service and then draft a signup sheet for the neighborhood.

“We have some older weekly recipients, some who have a sudden illness or surgery to recover from and just need it for a short time,” McMahan said.

Lucy O’Donoghue, who moved from her family from Thailand to Decatur, heard about Oakhurst Warm Meals through social media.

“In the months leading up and during transition, I sought out any relevant group I could find on Facebook and somehow stumbled across the meal co-op via another group,” O’Donoghue said.

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O’Donoghue grew up watching her family cook for those in need, and before moving from Thailand, she helped out friends with newborns by cooking for them. When she moved to Decatur, she was interested in signing up for the group.

“We were arriving in Atlanta in October with a toddler, myself heavily pregnant, my husband who travels 40 percent of the time all over the globe,” she said. “I put my hand up and said, ‘Yes, please. We would love some meals.”

O’Donoghue sees a true value in creating a giving community. Her family makes an effort to “pass on the love” through carpooling, joining a babysitting co-op, or “just being company for someone who needs it.”

“You can and must build community wherever you go, but after years abroad, we were ready for and so grateful to be able to plonk ourselves in a community as vibrant, longstanding and giving as Decatur,” she said. “It nudges us towards an attitude of gratitude and generosity when we might be tempted to hoard or be selfish.”

To sign up for Oakhurst Warm Meals, visit: https://m.signupgenius.com/#!/showSignUp/10c0c49a9ad2cab9-dinner.

For more information about Oakhurst Warm Meals, request to join the Facebook group at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1671912366419837/, or contact Laura McMahan at: [email protected].

Don’t live in Oakhurst? There are other neighborhoods getting involved.

Oakhurst’s co-op inspired the Kirkwood community to start Kirkwood Warm Meals, which consists of over 100 members. For more information about how to get involved in the Kirkwood area, contact Ashley Hayes at [email protected] or join the Facebook group:


Correction: An earlier version of this story gave an incorrect number of meals delivered. This story has been updated with the correct information. 

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