CSC food bank tops 2011 levels, already

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, November 28, 2012


If the increase in the amount of food the Christian Service Center has given away so far this year is any indication of the economic situation in Covington County, then more people need food this year than last.

CSC director the Rev. Leroy Cole said Tuesday that the center has already surpassed last year’s 204,000 pounds.

“We’ve given out a good bit more this year than last,” he said. “So far, we’ve given out 234,000 pounds, and that doesn’t include part of November and all of December.”

In 2010, the center gave out 156,000 pounds.

“We’re distributing about 20,000 pounds of food a month,” he said. “We’re seeing about 530 families a month at all three centers.”

That’s up from 484 families last year.

In order to feed these families, Cole said the center relies heavily on donations from local residents, schools and businesses.

“Forty-seven percent of the food comes through the food bank,” he said. “I get around 11,000 pounds a month when I order.”

Cole said that Walmart and Winn-Dixie donate their pull items.

“Some of the schools collect items, and we have food drives,” he said.

In fact, Winn-Dixie has teamed up with the CSC for a food drive on Dec. 15, starting at 9 a.m.

“We ask that folks buy a little extra and donate to us,” he said. “Every little bit helps.”

Cole said any non-perishable food item is a welcomed donation.

The food bank is open Monday and Wednesday from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m., but Cole said people begin lining up as early as 8 a.m.

“The center opens at 9 a.m.,” he said. “It moves fairly rapidly, but if you have 20 in a line and it takes about 10 minutes to see each person.”

Cole said that it is based on income eligibility and a statement is signed.

“You do have to live in Covington County and show proof of residence, as well as a picture ID,” he said.

Cole said the center opened in 1986, and the sales from the retail side of the store go to help fund the food distribution, counseling services and disaster relief response ministry of the CBA.

The organization has stores in Andalusia, Opp and Florala.

The center is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m.