BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Alabama Food banks received some much-needed funding this week to help them continue to meet the needs of families, many impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Governor Kay Ivey allocated $3,606,104 for the Alabama Feeding Initiative. The money would be distributed to state food banks to reimburse them for extra costs due to the pandemic.
“Our food budget is around $350,000 and this year we’ve spent over $650,000 and we’re expecting to spend more over the next month,” said Bobby Bozeman development director with the Food Bank of North Alabama.
There are eight food banks connected to the Alabama Food Bank Association, according to Executive Director Laura Lester.
Lester said because of the COVID-19 pandemic donations dried up, distribution centers closed due to safety concerns and the demand for help increased.
“As a consequence over the last several months, the food banks in Alabama have spent millions going out and purchasing food. So, this funding is a tremendous relief and a great recognition and we’re so grateful for it,” Lester exclaimed.
Officials say the funds will be used to reimburse food banks for the following COVID-related expenses:
• The purchase of food, packaging and related supplies to meet increased demand;
• Operational expenses, including fuel and maintenance, incurred due to handling a higher amount for food, as well as open-air distribution events;
• Rental costs of storage space and vehicles to handle increased volumes of food; and
• Purchase of PPE, screening equipment and decontamination services to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
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