Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Who gets food?
A. Our member agencies are responsible for determining how the food is distributed to individuals in need. Each year, 645,000 people are fed.
Q. What areas do you serve?
A. The food bank’s service area is a twelve county area in central Alabama. Our service area includes the following counties: Winston; Walker; Blount; Jefferson; Shelby; Talladega; Clay; St. Clair; Etowah; Calhoun; Cherokee; and Cleburne Counties.
Q. What kind of food do you give away?
A. The Community Food Bank of Central Alabama puts high priority on making wholesome, nutritious foods available to our agencies. Much of what we distribute is fresh produce, dairy products, fresh meats, and other refrigerated and frozen products. Last year, food for 10 million nutritious meals left our docks; that includes, canned fruits and vegetables, pasta, fruit juices, and many other types of nonperishable foods.
Q. Where does the food bank get food?
A. Food comes to us from farmers, grocery stores and other retailers, distributors, wholesale, and other food industry sources. In addition, kindhearted members of our community hold food drives that can bring in literally tons of food. In addition, we are a USDA TEFAP Commodities Distributor, which stands for The Emergency Feeding Assistance Program. You can read more about TEFAP here. All donated product the food bank receives is thoroughly inspected for quality and goodness before it is distributed to the public.
Q. Where does the food bank get money?
A. While we do receive gifts from corporations and foundations, as well as public grants, we rely on donations from generous individuals who open their hearts and checkbooks to help the Community Food Bank of Central Alabama achieve our mission of leading the fight against hunger.
The Community Food Bank of Central Alabama is scrupulous in making sure that our donors make a good investment. Less than 5 cents of every dollar is used for administrative costs and we’re able to provide 7 meals per dollar.
Need Food Assistance
Q. How do I get food?
A. The food bank itself does not do direct public assistance, but rather provides food and household items to various nonprofit agencies in the community. If you are in need of food assistance, or are looking for a food pantry in your area, please call the United Way Referral Line at 211, have your zip code ready, and tell them you are looking for a food pantry in your area. Simply dial 2-1-1.
Q. How old do you have to be to volunteer?
A. For safety purposes, the minimum age for volunteering is six years of age. To inquire about upcoming volunteer opportunities please contact us at volunteer@feedingAL.org.
Q. Where can I drop off food?
A. Food donations come in all sizes. If you have a few grocery bags or a few small boxes full of food that you'd like to drop off, then you can come to the lobby of the Community Food Bank of Central Alabama. Lobby hours are Monday-Thursday, 7:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. and Friday, 7:30 a.m.- 2:00 p.m.
Larger-scale donations of food are received through our warehouse from Monday-Thursday, 7:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. and Friday, 7:30 a.m.- 1:00 p.m. Donations must be brought to the warehouse. Please call Bob Roberts before coming by at 205-942-8911. If this time slot does not work, please let us know.
Q. How do I start a food drive?
A. We are grateful to our friends in the community who hold food drives: they not only generate food - they generate awareness of the terrible problem of hunger in our community.View Host a Food Drive
Q. What food items do you need most?
A. Food contributed through food drives or individual donations must be nonperishable. The item we distribute the most is peanut butter, always a welcome donation. Protein in various forms is important, and helps us provide a nutritious blend of foods. See our list of our most needed itemsin our food drive toolkit.
Q. Which do you need more: food or money?
A. Donating food provides a variety of nutritious, quality products for which we are grateful; however, money goes much further. The Community Food Bank of Central Alabama can stretch your dollar through our partnerships with the food industry. In fact, for every dollar donated we are able to obtain and distribute seven meals. Make a gift!
Q. How can my organization or church get food from the Community Food Bank of Central Alabama?
A. See our Becoming a member agency page.