United Way Hands On and Local Partners Host Food Distribution for Laid Off Miners

In collaboration with Drummond Company and United Mine Workers of America District 20 and Warrior Met Coal, United Ways Hands On hosted a pop-up food bank for workers laid off from one of Alabama’s largest coal mines, Shoal Creek Mine, on Thursday, December 10. The distribution took place at UMWA Local 1948, located in Parrish.

On October 4, over 350 miners were laid off overnight with no notice, leaving workers without a chance to prepare for their new reality. Not only were Shoal Creek employees losing their jobs during a global pandemic, but the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays were also quickly approaching. As a result, Hands On, Drummond, and UWMA combined efforts to provide food to these families.

This distribution was the second of its kind, with plans for two per month to take place beginning in January and lasting until the layoff ends. Shoal Creek Mine’s closure is expected to last 3-4 more months.

Canned goods, oatmeal, spaghetti and spaghetti sauce, and cereal were among the items given to 175 miners and their families, an increase of 45 families from the first food pantry. To prevent the spread of COVID, clients went through a drive-thru where volunteers put the food boxes in their vehicles without any face-to-face contact. Son’s Supermarket in Jasper provided the food at a discounted rate.

Efforts like this would not be possible without the generous community in Central Alabama. David Clark, United Way Community Services Labor Liaison, said, “It’s part of our mission to fight for health, education, and financial stability of every person in every community and this donation today is part of our mission, and we couldn’t do that without our donors.”

United Way of Central Alabama serves Jefferson, Shelby, Walker, Blount, St. Clair, and Chilton counties by providing solutions for the community’s most critical needs. Through its partner agencies and community initiatives, UWCA improves lives and community conditions by building and mobilizing resources. United Way fights for the health, education, and financial stability of every person in every community.  For more information or to donate, visit www.uwca.org.