Alabama is the 2nd hungriest state in the nation.*

1 in 4 children in Alabama live in poverty. *

The gap between Alabama’s richest and poorest is the second largest in the nation. *

Though the stats listed above are incredibly overwhelming, I am so fortunate to have a job where I have the privilege to witness first-hand how agencies, organizations, and extraordinary community members are making a difference each and every day. One of those agencies is the Community Food Bank of Central Alabama. Sure, I’m biased. Not only are they a United Way of Central Alabama (where I work) agency, but they also happen to be my friends.

The Community Food Bank does many things: they provide non-perishable items and fresh produce to agencies, weekend backpacks for children, and they serve over 12 counties. You can find all of the details about their work if you click here.

Why am I writing about the Community Food Bank of Central Alabama? Well, because Alabama’s 13 Can-A-Thon is TOMORROW all day at the Publix on Montclair Road. I also happen to know that the Food Bank is running short this year on donations, so they need some EXTRA help tomorrow. So, please do me a favor: Stop by Publix on Montclair Road tomorrow (Friday, November 16) and drop off some cans.

Some giving tips:
Don’t simply clean out your cupboard! Give intentionally. For example, if the only meal a child/family will eat are the donations I make to food drives, then evaporated milk isn’t necessarily the best use of my “give.” Dried beans, brown rice, pasta, and chicken broth (low sodium) might go a longer way. We know that sodium levels are important when checking labels on cans of food we feed our families, so why not pay attention to those details when providing food to someone who is in need? We also know the importance of calories and substance, so keep that in mind as you shop.

Now here’s the thing: My intention is not to come off as some privileged, “eat local,” foodie. I understand that we are all having to make exceptions these days, so please know that any food bank, food drive, or food recovery truck will gladly take any donations you are willing and able to make. I am simply suggesting to those of you who can give a little more, please consider doing so.

Last year, I posted a “guide to giving” on Food Revival and linked readers to a great article I found on Nourish Network (click here), which really inspired me to rethink the kind of items I donate.

Though the need is huge, I’m absolutely convinced that our hearts are even bigger. I continue to witness outpouring of support, love, and levels of giving that amaze me, but that shouldn’t stop us from giving more. Thanks for all that EACH of you do. Whether you are volunteering time, donating, or supporting monetarily,  you are appreciated and needed so very much.

If you know someone food insecure in our area, please have them call 2-1-1 to find a food agency within 10 miles of their zip code and please consider donating in the Can-A-Thon tomorrow at Publix on Montclair Rd.

* Stats listed above can be found on Alabama Possible’s website.