Food Bank of East Alabama helps those who can’t feed themselves in seven different counties including Tallapoosa, Randolph, Chambers, Russell, Barbour, Macon and Lee counties.
Established in 1993, the food bank provides food to local pantries, churches, shelters and other outreaches. It helps 21 of the local agencies, including the Salvation Army, St. John’s Brown Bag program and the Tallapoosa Christian Crisis Center, according to executive director Martha Henk.
“We’re been going for quite a while,” Henk said. “A lot of people don’t have a clear understanding of what a food bank does. Our job is to gather together the best supply of food that we can.”
The food bank provides about 425,000 pounds of food each month to its programs.
“We’re knocking on the door of 5 million pounds distributed this year,” Henk said.
Alabama is in the top 10 hungriest states and 20% of the population is food insecure, meaning residents don’t know where their next meal is coming from, according to Henk. More than 7,300 people, including 2,300 children, in Tallapoosa County are food insecure, she said.
“It’s a significant issue,” Henk said. “It’s not that we don’t have food. It’s a matter of figuring out where are people in need.”
Henk said all the people the food bank helps could fill ¾ of Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn.
The group’s partnership with its local agencies is critical because they help deliver the food to those who need it.
Lake Martin Area United Way helps fund the food bank to buy food.
“(United Way is) part of what gives reliable funding,” Henk said. “Being a part of United Way gives us the opportunity to network with other agencies.”
Henk hopes those who have extra will donate to help others.
Fore more information on the food bank, visit foodbankofeastalabama.com.