West AL Food Bank prepares for increased need during summer months

West Alabama Food Bank. (Source: Terri Brewer/WBRC)
West Alabama Food Bank. (Source: Terri Brewer/WBRC)

TUSCALOOSA COUNTY, AL (WBRC) - Just ahead of the summer months, the West Alabama Food Bank is reminding the community about the need for donations that often arises this time of year.

West Alabama Food Bank Executive Director Jean Rykaczewski says with children not eating at school, families must provide more food for their children at home. Also, there are typically food drives around the holidays, but not as many in the summer.

To address this need, the food bank has stationed collection bins in areas where college students are moving out for the summer, providing a way for students to easily donate unused non-perishable food items. Rykaczewski says the food bank will also accept fresh fruits and vegetables from gardens.

Rykaczewski says the food bank will provide on-site feeding for children and teens in some locations this summer. In addition, Rykaczewski reminds the community of the Stamp Out Hunger letter carrier food drive happening Saturday, May 12. Residents can leave a bag of non-perishable food at their mailbox, and letter carriers will pick it up.

''All the food bank staff will be working,'' Rykaczewski said. "We will help the postal carriers unload it, and that brings food in.''

Rykaczewski says often, the people helped by the food bank are those dealing with short-term food insecurity. She says people who experience short-term food insecurity are those who are working and typically buy food, but have encountered an emergency or unanticipated expense that draws from their food budget.

Rykaczewski also says monetary donations are especially useful, because the food bank buys in bulk, at a much lower cost than the average consumer.

Learn more at westalabamafoodbank.org or call 205-333-5353.

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