HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - There are 146,000 people in the Tennessee Valley that are food insecure and 80,000 families every year come to the food bank to receive meals.
During the government shutdown the food bank was lacking supplies, but the Madison County Commission is stepping up to help fill the shelves.
“We weren’t quite as prepared to move as quickly as we’d like, so we want to make sure we’re prepared should unfortunately that ever happen again,” said executive director Shirley Schofield.
The Food Bank of North Alabama was never out of food during the government shutdown, but helping the furloughed employees resulted in a lot of empty crates in their warehouse.
Madison County Commission Chairman Dale Strong saw the impact and is giving the food bank $25,000 from his budget to help replenish the shelves.
“They are a part of this county, a huge part of this county, feeding those that are going through tough times and there is no reason for anyone to starve here in the third largest county in Alabama and I think this commission knows what’s at stake,” said Strong.
On a normal day a lot of people rely on the food bank for survival. During the shutdown furloughed employees weren’t the only ones who felt the pinch.
“People who receive SNAP benefits have a large gap between when they receive their last assistance and when they’re going to get their next in March, so we want to make sure those people are taken care of as well,” said Shirley.
If government leaders in Washington, D.C don’t reach an agreement by Friday, there’s the potential for another government shutdown. The staff here at the food bank say their prepared thanks to this donation.
The Food Bank isn’t the only nonprofit organization receiving some help from the Madison County Commission. Strong is earmarking $15,000 for the National Children’s Advocacy Center. Wellstone Inc. helps people with mental illness and he’s giving it $10,000.