December 28, 2009

Matthew 25 Resource 12/28/09-United Way Community Food Bank (Bimingham, AL)

About the United Way Community Food Bank: grant of $100,000 from the Greater Birmingham Foundation made it possible for the Food Bank to open its doors on December 1, 1982. At that time, service was provided to Jefferson, Shelby and Walker counties. The planning was done by volunteers from the community and the Planning department of United Way of Central Alabama . Over the last 21 years, the number of counties served by the food bank has increased from 3 to 13 and the number of agencies distributing food in Central Alabama has increased from 30 to 190.

We receive food through America’s Second Harvest (a national food bank network with more than 200 food bank members) from government agencies, national donors, local donors and additional food is purchased with monies allocated in our budget.

The Food Bank operates as a central clearinghouse for collecting food that might otherwise be wasted. The Food Bank solicits and receives both new and commercially excess but fully edible food from many food industry sources such as manufacturers, distributors, warehouse and storage operations, grocery chains and individual donors. The Food Bank is also a member of America’s Second Harvest, a nationwide network of food banks, which solicits food in vast amounts and divides these goods among more than 200 food banks in the United States. This food is distributed to non-profit agencies and religious organizations that directly serve the needy through their own programs. These programs include shelters for the homeless, soup kitchens, residential facilities for the elderly and handicapped and shelters for abused women and children. Any charitable, non-profit agency meeting the criteria of the Internal Revenue Service as a 501 © (3) agency may apply to become an agency of the Food Bank. The agency must then agree to distribute the food to the public at no charge.

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