Local food bank plentiful, donations still needed

Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 20, 2010

Tori Petty, CSC volunteer, helps stock the shelves with some breakfast items that were recently donated to the center. | Kendra Bolling/Star-News

Despite a heavy need for food donations last year, volunteers at the Christian Service Center said their shelves are stocked with plenty this year – at least through Thanksgiving.

“I think we’re going to be OK for the holidays,” director Leroy Cole said Friday.

This is a stark contrast from last year and earlier this year, when the food bank shelves were running dry.

The center distributes around 3,000 pounds of food weekly. To meet that need, the center relies on help from the community in the form of food donations or monetary donations to keep its shelves stocked.

The center distributes 15 pounds per person, per week in a family, which adds up to nearly 13,000 pounds each month, Cole said. The center is on track to distribute 135,000 to 145,000 pounds of food this year.

This November, the CSC has distributed 8,600 pounds of food and will not receive another truck until Dec. 7.

The monthly supply of food is not free, Cole said. The Covington Baptist Association purchases the food from the U.S. Department of Agriculture center in Mobile, which includes canned goods, rice and dry beans.

Still, Cole said that no donation will be turned down.

“We’re constantly giving out food,” he said. “Andalusia is the largest distribution point but we also give food away two days in Opp and one in Florala. I never run out, but I do start running low.

“Wal-Mart nationwide is collecting for hunger relief and the local food distribution centers will receive the donations to give away,” he said.

“We’ll take donations any day,” he said. “We don’t know what the demand for December will be. So all non-perishable goods will be accepted.”

Items such as cooking oil, salt, pepper, canned meats, canned fruit and other non-perishable staples come from public donations.

The center is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m., but the food bank is only open Mondays and Wednesdays.