Alabama food bank tackles meal gaps crisis amid rising costs
Wednesday, November 22, 2023
As Thanksgiving approaches, some Alabama residents are facing a meal gap crisis, forcing people to choose between buying gas and medicine or putting turkey on the table.
Each month, the Community Food Bank of Central Alabama reported they serve about 250,000 people across 12 counties who experience food insecurity on a regular basis.
Nicole Williams, CEO of the food bank, said this holiday season the food bank is preparing an extra 25,000 holiday meal boxes to help feed families.
"The holidays are really all about food and family being together," Williams explained. "We want to just ensure that our neighbors who experience food insecurity have an opportunity to have a nice meal and not feel that stress of where that food is going to come from."
She noted they are working with 230 agency partners to help distribute holiday meals throughout central Alabama between now and the end of December.
Some of the 12 counties served by the Community Food Bank of Central Alabama are located in rural areas, where food insecurities can exist at higher rates, according to an Annie E. Casey Foundation study.
Williams pointed out the need for food assistance is currently at an all-time high, which is reflected at the food bank. She said they had to start finding ways to provide holiday meals way back in June, and added inflated grocery and gas prices have impacted their operations.
"I know last year we had budgeted about $80,000 for gas and we spent more than twice that much as gas prices rose," Williams reported. "The food bank also buys food. We don't just you know take donated food and so we use grant money and donor money to buy food. So, food inflation has really affected us."
Williams added people in need of food can visit feedingal.org and click the "Find Food" button on the front page. Information on volunteering at the food bank warehouse or organizing a food drive can also be found there.
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