'Barrels of Love' reaches out to hungry in Decatur - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

'Barrels of Love' reaches out to hungry in Decatur

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Barrels at Daikin and Toray represent the latest efforts of employees of industry to help fill a community void. Barrels at Daikin and Toray represent the latest efforts of employees of industry to help fill a community void.
DECATUR, AL (WAFF) -

A recent FEMA meeting led several businesses to talk about the lack of food in Decatur area food banks. From there, an idea to restock those shelves was born.  Industries that line the river in Decatur are taking the lead to fight hunger in the area.

Barrels at Daikin and Toray represent the latest efforts of employees of industry to help fill a community void. That void is food at local food pantries like the Salvation Army, the Back Pack Project, and the Committee on Church Cooperation.

April Taylor uses the CCC food pantry.  

"It means a lot. It helps us a lot. We come every three months, and it really helps us with me, my husband and my five kids," said Taylor.

One quick look at the shelves and you see many bare spots where there is simply no food.  

Beverly Johnson is the Board Vice President at the CCC. 

"In 2011, we were averaging approximately 50 families a week. In 2012, we average 80 families a week," she said.

An example at the CCC, they have one box of mashed potatoes left, there are no more boxes of powdered milk, and that is desperately needed for any family that has children, and that doesn't include the increases for sit down meals served at the CCC.

"In 2011, we averaged 370 plates a week. That's a lot of food. In 2012, we averaged 500 plates a week," added Johnson.

All of the food banks are averaging a 180 percent increase in people asking for help.  That's when the industries decided to take action and the barrels are showing up.

Forrest Keith is the Community Relations and General Affairs Manager at Daikin America, Inc. 

"With Valentine's Day coming up, we decided to call it 'Barrels of Love.' It's a nonperishable food drive," he said.

And, Keith said, it's not just Toray and Daikin.

"We decided to invite all of the industries in the area, so there's about 30 companies that are involved in this food drive and we're going to launch it on Valentine's Day and call it 'Barrels of Love,' and we're going to ask our employees at all the plants to bring in at least three items," he added.

The drive will benefit the CCC, the Salvation Army and the back pack program.

To help in this effort, individuals can drop off cans and food items at the Holiday Inn.  Companies may contact Wendy Taylor at (256) 260-5925.

These are the industries involved in the program:

Toray Flourofibers, Wayne Farm Decatur Fresh, Cooks Pest Control, Daikin America, Cintas, TVT, Toray Carbon Fibers, 3M, National Packaging, Holiday Inn (drop off site), Decatur Daily, Allegra Print & Images, Publix, Nichols Aluminum, Packaging Corp. America, Air Products, Nucor, United Rentals, Ascend, Joe Wheeler, Del Monte Foods, BP Decatur Site, Decatur Utilities, OCi Chemical, Hexcel, E - Center, Pro Air, United Way/Emergency Food & Shelter Board, Styrolution, Turner Industries, Alabama Farmers Coop, Volunteer Center Morgan County, Automatic Screw, International Paper, Baker Division, ITW Sexton, National Packaging, United Launch Alliance, Wayne Farm Decatur FP, Mundy Company

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