Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Food Bank?

It’s one of the most common questions we’re asked.  You may have heard the term “food bank” used to describe many kinds of charities from soup kitchens to emergency food pantries.  However, our role as a Food Bank is bigger than many realize.

We act as a central hub for making large-scale food purchases and soliciting food donations that might otherwise be wasted. In turn, we ensure the food we receive is given away for free to people in need according to strict food safety standards.

We inspect millions of pounds of donated food across the region and then supply hundreds of charitable food pantries, homeless shelters, and children programs with foods such as fruits, vegetables, proteins, and other staples.

We perform routine site visits to each of our partners to ensure food safety standards are met and that food is given to intended recipients.

As a food bank, we are also responsible for much, much more. In addition to immediate hunger relief activities, the Community Food Bank of Central Alabama also incubates social enterprises that promote nutrition and tests new initiatives that go beyond charity to create healthy food access for all.

And we need your help to do it!

Interested in becoming a partner with the Community Food Bank?  Click on the following links to learn how to volunteer with usstart a food & fund drive, or donate to end hunger in your community.

How does the Community Food Bank make a difference?

When CFB sees a gap in services or a population that is underserved, we step in with direct service programs. Learn more here!

How Can I Help?

Yes, you can help! You can give food, funds, or time to help solve hunger in Central Alabama.

Hosting a food drive, volunteering to inspect, pack or give out food supplies, and donating funds all make a difference!

Every dollar you give helps us to provide up to 6 meals to children, seniors, and families right here in Central Alabama!

Can the Community Food Bank help my church or nonprofit fight hunger?

The Community Food Bank helps charitable feeding programs and churches with food programs in the following ways:

  • Supply your program with meats, fresh produce, and other groceries
  • Increase the nutritional content of the meals you provide
  • Dramatically lower operating costs
  • Expand services
  • Share best practices & show you how to start a food pantry

Find out more about how the Community Food Bank of Central Alabama can assist in your organization’s mission to end hunger by clicking HERE or e-mail our Agency Relations Manager at dappleby@feedingal.org.

What are your hours and where are you located?

Our warehouse accepts food donations Monday – Thursday from 7:15 am to 3:00 pm, and Fridays 7:15 am to 2:00 pm
Our administrative office is open Monday – Friday from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm.

We are located:

107 Walter Davis Drive, Birmingham, Alabama 35209
Phone: 205-942-8911 Fax: 205-942-8838

Please come visit us, we would be happy to give you a tour!

Who receives your food? What areas do you serve?

We supply food to over 250 charitable feeding programs serving children or individuals in need. The Community Food Bank also provides direct food assistance to special populations at risk of food insecurity such as people living in isolated areas, children at risk of hunger during school breaks, low-income patients facing chronic illness, first-time mothers.

We offer these services in twelve counties of Central Alabama: Blount, Calhoun, Cherokee, Clay, Cleburne, Etowah, Jefferson, Shelby, St. Clair, Talladega, Walker & Winston.

Do people go directly to the Community Food Bank of Central Alabama for food?

They do not come to us – we go to them!

Contrary to popular belief, we do not distribute food out of our location. Together with our partners, we supply food to over 250 food pantries, children’s programs, group homes, and shelters across 12 counties in Central Alabama, so people in need can access emergency food near where they live. We also deliver fresh produce and healthy staples directly to children, seniors, patients, and families at key locations like schools, community centers, senior housing facilities, medical clinics, and more.

Visit our Find Food page to find a food distribution near you!

How can I volunteer? Can children volunteer?

Volunteering is easy and a great way to have fun, meet new people, and make a far-reaching impact on hunger in Central Alabama! We host the following multiple volunteer shifts a day for individuals or groups up to 15:

Monday – Thursday:
9:00 am – 11:30 am– morning shift
1:00 pm – 3:00 pm – afternoon shift

Friday
9:00 am – 11:30 am – morning shift

After a brief training, volunteers inspect, sort, and pack our food donations into ready-to-go boxes. This role is extremely important as it keeps our food supply safe. Last year over 2,200 volunteers helped us supply over 21.9 million meals to neighbors in need!

For safety purposes, the minimum age for volunteering is eight years old. Minors under 16 must be accompanied by an adult chaperone.

Sign up here or contact us at volunteer@feedingAL.org!

Where and when can I drop off food?

Food donations come in all sizes.

If you have a few grocery bags or some small boxes of food that you’d like to drop off, you can bring them to the Community Food Bank of Central Alabama’s lobby. Lobby hours are Monday-Friday 7:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Our warehouse receives larger food donations Monday-Friday from 7:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
If this time slot does not work, please call us at 205-942-8911.

How do I start a food & fund drive?

We are grateful to our friends in the community who hold food drives: they not only generate food – they generate awareness of hunger in our community.

See our food drive toolkit for more details or email volunteer@feedingal.org.

Can my company host a fund drive and track our gifts online?

Yes! We can set up a custom Fund Drive webpage for you.

Just email Ginger at gpegues@feedingal.org and we can get you set up!

What food do you need the most?

Peanut butter, canned tuna, and chicken, low-sodium canned vegetables, soups, and stews are always welcome. We also accept fresh produce from local farmers and gardeners. See our list of our most needed items in our food drive toolkit.

How far do your donations go?

Every dollar donated helps us to provide up to 6 meals! Last year, we provided over 21.9 million meals to residents in Central Alabama.

Where does your food come from?

We source our food from farmers, grocery stores, distributors, wholesalers, the USDA and food companies like Kellogg or ConAgra. In addition, kindhearted members of our community hold food drives that can literally raise one ton of food! We thoroughly inspect all foods donated to us to ensure they meet food safety standards.

We are also able to purchase healthy foods such as fresh produce and low-sodium items in large quantities at wholesale prices. Every dollar donated helps us to provide up to 6 meals!

What does the Food Bank need more of - food or funds?

While food is ALWAYS appreciated, monetary donations are most helpful.

Individuals may spend $1 at retail prices for an item at a grocery store they wish to donate – we’re able to stretch funds much further because we can purchase foods in large quantities at wholesale prices. We also have special relationships with over 100 grocery stores in the region. In fact, every dollar donated helps us to provide up to four meals!

If you would like to donate, visit give.feedingal.org.