The Food Bank of East Alabama is experiencing a severe shortage as are most food banks across the United States and the requests for food assistance are increasing daily.
This dramatic increase in the number of families asking for food assistance is putting the agencies served by the Food Bank of East Alabama in an unhappy position because so many of these agencies rely almost wholly on donations and they have no money with which to buy food even at agency prices.
When the Food Bank has less food, these agencies can purchase food if they have the resources but many do not have such resources so they must choose to either cut back on the amount of help the agency can offer or reduce the number of people they can help, a heart-wrenching decision.
The issue now is that the Food Bank does not have enough food to supply the more than 170 agencies that rely on the Food Bank of East Alabama for their individual programs.
Out of the Food Bank’s member agencies, 55 percent rely on the Food Bank for 75 percent or more of the food they distribute through their programs and 28 percent of these agencies get 100 percent of their food from the Food Bank for their outreach efforts. These agencies are the ones most impacted by the shortage of inventory.
The World Hunger Education Service listed 925 million hungry people in 2011 and the amount has grown considerably. World Hunger cites the three main factors contributing to world hunger as neglect of agriculture by governments, the worldwide economic situation, and the significant increase in the cost of food. How do you think their cited reasons apply to the hungry in Opelika and surrounding territories?
There is hunger in Opelika, a fact that makes us uncomfortable, but it is a fact. The thought of children going to bed hungry is a most depressing, but it is true.
Just feeling bad about this isn’t going to help the hungry; do whatever youcan. It is obvious that the most efficient way to help solve the immediate problem is that money is given. The Food Bank can purchase some eight pounds of food for every dollar.
Somehow, it seems worse to think about people being hungry when we approach a holiday such as Thanksgiving. This is a time when tables need to be full of good food and an occasion when we are thankful to have such food.
Think outside of the box. Can you organize a food drive where you work or play? Have everyone in your office bring a can of something. Make it a rule that members of your club bring a donation to every meeting. Any food drive, no matter how small, will help.
Collection barrels are spaced throughout the surrounding area. Teach your children about sharing by having them put donations in these barrels. It is a good lesson in life.
Visit http://foodbankofeastalabama.com/news-events/in-the-news for a complete listing of barrel collector locations, or use any of the following: Opelika Kroger Store, Auburn Kroger Store, Walmart in Opelika, Winn Dixie in Opelika on Fox Run, Winn Dixie in Auburn on East University, Winn Dixie in Auburn on College Street, Always Money at 1909 Pepperell Parkway, Maurice’s at Village Mall, Wares Jewelry in Auburn, Auburn Parks and Recreation, Internal Medicine in Opelika and Auburn Dental Spa and several spaced around the grounds of Auburn University.
There is also a barrel at The Food Bank, 375 Industry Drive in Auburn, AL. 36832-4274, which is the address to use for mailing your checks.
Remember that just one of your dollars will allow the Food Bank to purchase some eight pounds, but anything you can put in any barrel will be appreciated and wisely used. No one should be hungry in this great country.
Bita Bullet is the pen name of a local anonymous writer who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org