Since December 1, 1982, the Community Food Bank of Central Alabama has strived to battle food insecurity in our area. What started as a small organization with a three-county service area, focused solely on fulfilling emergency needs, has grown into a complex operation serving 12 counties with more than 230 distribution centers and multiple nutrition initiatives.
When a group of volunteers initially worked with United Way of Central Alabama to open the Community Food Bank in the 1980s, the Food Bank’s purpose was to provide emergency food to nearby neighbors in distress. Today, the Food Bank distributes more than 1,500,000 pounds of food per month! In the 40 years since its opening, this exemplary operation has consistently changed lives and sought more permanent ways to address hunger. The Food Bank’s mission is “to feed people in need today and foster collaborative solutions to end hunger tomorrow.” United Way of Central Alabama is a proud supporter of that mission.
The Community Food Bank’s strategy has multiple prongs:
- First, it distributes food to its partner agencies, such as food pantries, churches and nonprofits, where the food is then given to those in need, free of charge.
- Second, it operates direct meal programs to address gaps in the distribution areas. For example, the Kids Café Program works to help students who may be experiencing food insecurity when school is out of session and school lunches are therefore no longer accessible.
- Third, the Food Bank also offers direct services to seniors, first-time mothers and more.
The Community Food Bank helps change lives in genuinely positive ways. Ethelyn Stacks, a community member who received food at the Church of the Highlands Fultondale Distribution in December of 2021, said, “I just want you to know that the food here has been very helpful. My husband has had cancer since last August. He was diagnosed with stomach cancer, and this alone has helped us a great deal. If it wasn’t for y’all, I don’t know what all these people would do.”
Happy 40th anniversary to a true community cornerstone!
To learn more about the Community Food Bank of Central Alabama and how you can support neighbors such as Ethelyn, please visit feedingal.org.