The Florence Help Center still helping families amid COVID-19

A center in Florence is seeing an increase for families in need

FLORENCE, Ala. (WAFF) - More and more people are in need of food because of job losses and the pandemic.

Brenda Ward has been coming to the Help Center in Florence to get food for her family since some of her loved ones have become unemployed due to the pandemic.

“There were a few times I thought we would go to bed hungry, and they made it possible that we didn’t go to bed hungry,”

Feeding America projects more than 50 million Americans are impacted by lack of food compared to 35 million before the pandemic.

The number of people the Help Center is seeing has increased too.

“Its double and triple the numbers that we are seeing from this time last year. So it’s obvious that there’s a much greater need right now,” said Cindy Young.

Young is the board president of the Help Center.

She says the center receives their shipments of food from the Food Bank of North Alabama.

One way the center was able to stock up on food was through the food bank when they received funds from the $3.6M grant from Alabama Coronavirus Relief Fund provided to the Alabama Food Bank Association.

“We were able to stock up on a lot of food knowing that we would be seeing a lot more people that we would have to feed so we were very blessed to receive the grant money indirectly,” Young explained.

She says they see anywhere between 50 to 90 people a day.

“We have been able to maintain a surplus for emergencies and on days where are seeing those 90 clients we are pulling out a lot of it to make sure everybody gets fed,” added Young.

Clients like Ward say its the simple things they are most grateful for.

“Oh look we got cheese. Oh look we got milk. They’re excited because we’re pinching pennies to get by and when we get something they are excited. Like I said, I’m very blessed. I thank God everyday for this place because it helps our family. We wouldn’t be able to make it if it wasn’t for them,” said Ward.

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