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Grace Klein Community rescues food and shares with the community

Published: Jun. 29, 2021 at 6:34 PM CDT
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HOOVER, Ala. (WBRC) - A local non-profit is helping people facing food insecurity while also helping reduce the amount of food wasted in our community.

Grace Klein Community is rescuing food and getting it to those who need it most.

GKC is a faith-based organization that works with hundreds of businesses, stores, and restaurants to collect foods that can no longer sit on their shelves, but are still good for human consumption.

GKC then shares it with people in the community.

“Food insecurity hits that person that has a 9 to 5 job, has a house payment, a nice car, pays their utility bills, but something happens during that month. They come along, they make all those payments, they open their wallet and there’s nothing left for groceries,” said Serve Team & Volunteer Coordinator for GKC, Carla Phillips.

Studies show that one in six adults, and one and four children struggle with hunger in Alabama.

That’s why Grace Klein Community is standing in the gap rescuing food from local stores and restaurants.

“It’s going to expire either that day or the very next day, so to make room for new product, they bring the new product in, they give us the product that is close to expiration but is still good we share it in the community,” Phillips explained.

She said the organization has been working to combat hunger for more than a decade, but the need has more than tripled since the pandemic began.

“Before the pandemic, we fed about 10,000 people in a month. We feed about 10,000+ in a week now. Last year we rescued about $600,000 in food in 2020. We are already on target at this point in 2021 to triple that,” Phillips said.

Phillips said all that food would end up in a landfill, so she’s happy for not only meeting the needs of vulnerable families, but also reducing waste.

“If you had asked me if I wanted to sort produce, put it in a box and put it in people’s car each day, I’d have probably looked at you and said, “you have lost your mind,” but God has led me here and it is the most rewarding job I have ever had,” Phillips said.

Phillips says the GKC takes this one step further offering the unused food items to farmers who then feed it their animals.

The organization works almost entirely through the help of volunteers and they’re always looking for people who want to help.

For more information about GKC and how to volunteer, call (205) 490-7516, or visit www.gracekleincommunity.com.

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