Posts Tagged ‘food bank’

Mobile faith communities network to fight hunger

Wednesday, February 2nd, 2011

Seven months after we visited Mobile for our Hunger Workshop last June, friends there are continuing to make huge strides in fighting hunger.

Oak McCullough of the Bay Area Food Bank spoke about their innovative emergency food distribution programs.

“Your conference had a major impact,” says Diane Baldwin, pastor at Georgetown-Chunchula UMC. “It created a better network, brought us closer to other projects in the area, and it showed us different ideas and people we could go to.”

James Miles of the Alabama Cooperative Extension Service shared resources for community gardeners.

Rev. Jean Tippit agrees that the workshop had a positive impact. “That information you gave us [on poverty and health] was some of the most eye-opening information I have ever heard,” she says. “[APP Americorps VISTA] Haley Heckman’s testimony about going on food stamps was very powerful. It was a good day.”

Here are a few of the projects we’re hearing about from Hunger Workshop attendees:

– Rev. Baldwin reports that her congregation has developed a comprehensive food assistance ministry in Chunchula, including:

  • mobile food pantries, which they operate with the Bay Area Food Bank, distributing 5,000-6,000 pounds of food per day;
  • a drive-through food pantry which serves about 100 families at a time, who schedule a time in advance to drive by and pick up 60 pound boxes of food;
  • opportunities for clients to meet DHR representatives to learn about SNAP and other longer-term government food assistance programs;
  • snack backpacks for school kids who are at risk of hunger to take home over the weekend;
  • an emergency food pantry for community members who are in immediate need; and,
  • regular food deliveries to elderly shut-ins.

– Rev. Mark Renn’s congregation at Providence Presbyterian is partnering with churches in Pritchard and downtown Mobile to help plant more church gardens, bringing fresh produce and food assistance to even more communities.

Mark Renn shared fresh produce with Hunger Workshop participants last June.

– Rev. Jean Tippit of Grace United Methodist Church brought her 3.0 missional interns to the workshop and recruited many of them to work in a local community garden. One of the 3.0 alumna, Stephanie Bamberg, has since started the “We Got Your Back” backpack snack program for low-income students in Bibb County.

–  Another 3.0 intern, Porsche Holland, went to work with the Dumas Wesley community center which has now founded its own community garden. They were able to connect with the Alabama Cooperative Extension Service after hearing about them through the hunger workshop. Now ACES is a key partner in planning, constructing and training for the garden.

– Rev. Baldwin also organized supporters from our Hunger Workshop to help the Bay Area Food Bank receive a $100,000 grant to fund innovative food delivery systems like the mobile food pantries.

It all goes to show you that sometimes you just need to get the right group of people in a room together!

We hope to return to Mobile in April to highlight some more of the great work going on along the coast – stay tuned for details.

Posted by Robyn Hyden

Give, and you shall receive

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010

As we celebrate this special time of year, we spend a lot of time thinking about what presents to give the folks on our Christmas and Hanukkah lists.

But sometimes the best present you can give is yourself. As the Gospel of Luke says, “Give, and you shall receive.”

Alabama’s faith community lives by this every day. You give of yourselves by volunteering at food banks and organizing food pantries, staffing home repair and shelter ministries and participating in educational and mentoring programs.

The most successful of these anti-poverty efforts build relationships to address the short- and long-term causes of poverty. Relationships are a powerful tool to assist individuals in developing the support, resources and social capital they need to build economic security.

One great example of a relational ministry is Children’s Fresh Air Farm (pictured above), from Birmingham’s Independent Presbyterian Church. It is just one of many faith-based ministries fighting poverty that we’re connecting through our Alabama Possible campaign and our Faith Partnership.

We’re also building our faith partnership by providing resources, research and educational events to serve communities of faith around the state.

How did we help faith communities fight poverty in 2010?

We are so grateful for your help and support. Individual and faith donors have given almost $23,000 this year to support these and other programs! However, as the year draws to a close we still have a budget shortfall of over $3,000. Can you give?

Your tax-deductible gift will enable us to continue our work mobilizing Alabamians to eliminate poverty through our Faith Partnership and other programs. - Make a Donation to our 2010 Year-End Fundraiser

Track our fundraising progress at

Huntsville Hunger Workshop report

Friday, September 3rd, 2010

Around 60 people came out to The Village Church in Huntsville Tuesday for our fourth and final Hunger and Food Security Workshop.

Rich Hartz from the North Alabama Food Bank started off the day with the presentation of some recent data on hunger and food bank usage in North Alabama.

Karen Wynne from the Alabama Sustainable Agriculture Network (ASAN) joined our community garden discussion and reported on the newly formed Food Policy Council of Huntsville.

Thanks to The Village Church and their pastor Alex Shipman for being helpful and engaged and letting us use their beautiful space. Starbucks donated food and coffee, which was greatly appreciated. Thanks also to our amazing speakers and all the participants, who shared some touching stories and valuable insights.

What steps can you take to fight hunger in Huntsville and beyond?

  • Visit our event page to view notes from our group discussion about plans going forward
  • Connect with the Food Policy Council of North Alabama by emailing Lee McBride – their next meeting is September 8
  • Plan to attend the 2010 Alabama Food Summit in Birmingham November 12
  • September is Hunger Action month. Visit to learn how you can support your local food bank or food pantry.
  • Educate yourself about hunger and food security in Alabama by viewing our web resources

Posted by T.C. McLemore

Hey north Alabama: let’s discuss hunger

Friday, August 6th, 2010

You’re invited to join us for Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread: Feeding God’s Children, our Huntsville hunger and food security workshop. This event is co-sponsored by The Interfaith Mission Service.

13.3 percent of Alabamians are food insecure, meaning they have limited or uncertain access to a healthy diet. What can you do?

Get resources you can use now to fight hunger and food insecurity in your community. Representatives from food pantries, food banks, hunger ministries, community gardens, and government aid agencies will be on hand to discuss the sustainable, long-term solutions to our state’s hunger problem.

Who should attend? Social workers, teachers, outreach ministers, faith leaders, community leaders, and anyone who is interested in working together to end hunger in north Alabama. Continuing education credits available upon request.

Date: Tuesday, August 31st

The Lincoln Village Church

10:00 am to 4:00 pm

$12 – Early Bird registration before 8/23
$15 late registration

Register online at


9:30 a.m.    Registration

10:00 a.m.    Welcome – Jilleyn Foley, Alabama Poverty Project
Hunger Report for North Alabama – Richard Hartz

10:15 a.m.    Local Hunger Programs

Richard Hartz of the Food Bank of North Alabama

Fran Fluhler of Manna House Food Pantry

Gayla Kidd of the Huntsville Assistance Program

11:15 a.m.    Break

11:30 a.m.    Community Gardening

Lee McBride of CASA, Madison County

Jeff Komara, Lincoln Village Ministries

12:30 p.m.    Lunch

1:15 p.m.    Government Aid Programs

Mary Lois Monroe, Director of Nutrition Education, Alabama DHR

Mary Jo Dennison, Director of Madison County Financial Programs

2:00 p.m.    Small Group Discussions

3:00 p.m.    Reports from Small Groups

3:45 p.m.    Final Thoughts

4:00 p.m.    Safe Travels

Contact T.C. McLemore with any questions.

Bringing food aid to the gulf (VIDEO) will bring a smile to your face

Friday, June 18th, 2010

The Mobile Press-Register posted a story today about the Bay Area Food Bank bringing emergency food assistance to South Alabama residents affected by the Gulf Coast oil disaster. Warning: watching a woman do a dance of gratitude at 1:10 after receiving a box of food is going to put a smile on your face and may bring tears to your eyes.

Bay Area Food Bank helps families hurt by oil spill

Do you want to do more to address the crisis on the coast? Join us in Mobile next Tuesday, June 22 for Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread: A Hunger and Food Security Workshop. Christian faith leaders, outreach ministers, and community members from all over South Alabama will come together to discuss strategies to fight hunger by bringing resources to our friends and neighbors who are struggling. David Reaney of the Bay Area Food Bank will join us to talk about the emergency food distribution system, while representatives from Catholic Social Services and Angel Food Ministries will talk about food pantries and other affordable food options. We will also hear panels on community gardening and government aid. After we break bread together, we will discuss ways we can work together.

Our goal is to find solutions to meet both the short- and long-term needs of the 13.3% of Alabamians who are food insecure. With tragedy affecting many residents on the coast and hurricane season fast approaching, sustainable long-term solutions are more important than ever. By pooling our resources, sharing information, and building partnernships, we can make sure that aid gets to the communities who need it the most. Will you join us?

Register today to reserve your spot. $15 covers the cost of breakfast, lunch, and all materials. We look forward to visiting the coast and meeting all the hard-working, generous people who are banding together in this difficult time.

Posted by Robyn Hyden

1 in 8 get help at food banks

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010

Feeding America recently released its 2010 Hunger Report, which showed that one in eight Americans — 37 million — received emergency food help last year.  That’s up a whopping  46% from 2006.

In Alabama, the Food Bank of North Alabama and the Food Bank of the Chattahoochee Valley participated in the study.

Here are some highlights from the North Alabama food bank:

  • 31% of the members of households served by The Food Bank of North Alabama are children under 18 years old
  • 24% of households include at least one employed adult
  • Among households with children, 77% are food insecure and 37% are food insecure with very low food security

And from the Chattahoochee Valley:

  • 45% of the members of households served by The Second Harvest Food Bank of the Chattahoochee Valley are children under 18 years old
  • 28% of households include at least one employed adult
  • Among households with children, 68% are food insecure and 32% are food insecure with very low food security

Read the full report here.

Want to know more about what you can do here in Alabama? Well, save the date for APP’s Give Us This Day our Daily Bread Hunger Workshop, which will be held on Thursday, March 18, in Montgomery.  Details will follow soon. . .