Food Bank of North Alabama prepares for summer season, suffers from ongoing supply chain issues
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - As the summer season approaches, the Food Bank of North Alabama is working hard to get food on its shelves. However, many products, like meat and canned goods are still not coming in as frequently.
“Generally, we would be able to make sure that people had seven or eight different kinds of canned goods,” said CEO Shirley Schofield. “Now we are down to only three different items so there is a lot less variety out there.”
Schofield said less donations are coming in to the food bank, and as a result they’ve had to increase their purchasing budget. The Food Bank increased its purchasing budget from about $500,000, to $1 million through the end of the year.
“That is phenomenally high for us but we feel like we need to have that in hand just to make sure we have the right kind of food to get to the people who need it the most,” Schofield said.
The Food Bank of North Alabama serves 11 counties, and has a network of over 200 food pantries. Schofield said her team is trying to diversify its food sources to make sure they are prepared for the summer rush.
“Everyone when they go to the grocery store, they are seeing that increase in what they are paying when they get to the cash register,” Schofield said. “I think also we’ve got summer coming up, we’ve got kids who are not going to be in school with those free and reduced priced breakfast and lunches available. So you have a lot of families who are trying to figure out how to do extra meals at home that they haven’t been doing while school is in session.”
The Food Bank of North Alabama took part in the Letter Carrier Food Drive on May 14. Schofield said it was a successful event, and her team is hoping to have additional food drives this year. She also said her team is seeking volunteers to help sort the 46,000 pounds of food that came in.
“This food is going out very quickly to the groups that need it and we are trying to make sure that every community is covered,” Schofield said.
If you would like to make a donation to the Food Bank of North Alabama, or if you need help, you can visit their website: https://www.foodbanknorthal.org/
“If people want to have a food drive, or if people are able to drop food off to our food bank, that is helpful,” Schofield said. “If people aren’t able to get out and shop, they can always go online and do a monetary donation. We also are always looking for more volunteers.”
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