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Community Food Bank of Central Alabama experiencing empty shelves

Published: Apr. 1, 2022 at 9:42 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The latest victim of inflation is local food banks and one in Birmingham is experiencing a lack of food because of it. It’s a huge problem when trying to feed the most vulnerable in our community.

While the Community Food Bank of Central Alabama’s warehouse wasn’t completely empty on Friday, several shelves were completely bare. The lack of donations began a few months ago and now they are really struggling.

“So to come in the warehouse and see some empty shelves is a little bit frightening, especially when we know we have so many neighbors in need of food in our own communities,” said Nicole Williams, the interim executive director.

The food bank distributes millions of meals every year across 12 different counties. They served 19.4 million pounds of food in 2021. Unfortunately, they don’t have access to the same amount of food as they did last year, or even the year prior.

“Last year when trade mitigation ended, that effected a lot of the food that came to the Food Bank and now with supply chain issues, it’s been very difficult for us to get food,” said Williams. “So we can order food. It’s sometimes hard to find. Inflation is making it very difficult with prices.”

Even when they are able to find and order food, Williams says it can take anywhere between four weeks and eight weeks to come in.

“We are able to get some food in here, but not a great variety,” she added. “We’re having a really difficult time finding protein so meats, and even canned meats such as canned chicken or canned tuna... really difficult to get.”

When they do get it, Williams says the truckloads cost around $100,000, and that’s just for tuna.

“Our mission here is to serve our neighbors in need and so that’s what we want to do,” said Williams. “It breaks my heart to see the empty shelves.”

Luckily, there is hope! The community can help fill those shelves back up. If you want to help the Community Food Bank of Central Alabama, click here to donate. There’s also information found on their website for those wanting to host a food drive.

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