BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - With the holidays less than a week away, The Community Food Bank of Central Alabama is trying to make sure no one goes hungry, but CEO Brett Meredith said the bank is tapped out.
“We have served more than 325,000 people unduplicated this year,” Meredith said. “Which is a 50% increase from 2019.”
With the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s been a busy year for The Community Foodbank of Central Alabama.
“Last year, they distributed about 8,000 pounds of food,” Meredith said. “This year, it is going to be close to 6 million pounds.”
Meredith said the food bank is now at capacity.
“We are doing everything we can,” he said. “We are kind of tapped out right now. We could not just say ‘let’s do another 3,000 to 4,000 boxes this Christmas season.’ We just don’t have the capacity.”
Meredith said he didn’t expect to be tapped out and knows more people need the food bank’s help.
“Our estimates say there are probably more families out there that are not getting the help that they need from us,” he said. “But, without additional warehousing and additional staffing, our capacity is right at it’s limit right now.”
Even with the food bank maxed out, Meredith said he is proud of the impact already made.
“We did about 2,500 holiday boxes last year and we increased it to 12,000 this year,” Meredith said. “We also did a lot of additional distributions of produce as well as mobile pantry food boxes, that are slightly larger than the holiday box. We did about 17,000 to 20,000 of those.”
Now, Meredith said they are planning ahead for the new year when they can start feeding families again.
“Then that capacity will refill and we will be able to do more again,” Meredith said.
Meredith is planning for 2021 to be just as busy as 2020 for at least the first six to eight months.