More neighbors are looking at a long + hungry winter—7 ways you can help food banks in Birmingham

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Community Food Bank of Central Alabama
A mobile food bank with the Community Food Bank of Central Alabama. Photo via Community Food Bank of Central Alabama’s Facebook

COVID cases, unemployment and loss of family members all combine to mean more of our neighbors in the Greater Birmingham Area are facing a long and hungry winter. Food banks play a critical role in helping many people continue to eat. This holiday season, you can make a difference in your community by helping one of these organizations. Keep reading to find out how.

1. United Way’s 2-1-1 is the perfect starting point

United Way 2-1-1 can help connect people with food banks in Birmingham
United Way’s 2-1-1 can help connect you with food banks near you. Photo via United Way’s Facebook

If you or someone you love needs help of any kind this winter, 2-1-1 is the perfect place to start. Trained volunteers will take your call 24/7 and help point you in the right direction.

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2. If you want to give, here’s what helps local food banks the most

According to FeedingAmerica.org, there are certain actions you can take that really help when it comes to donating to food banks during COVID.

  1. Give money—this allows the organization to put the money where they need it most.
  2. Ask what your local food bank needs—whether it’s peanut butter, canned meats or something else, you won’t know if you don’t ask.
  3. Start a virtual food drive—get the people in your world to help raise money for your local food drive because 👆🏼 see #1 above.
  4. Donate your time—not only will you help others, you’ll also give yourself a mood boost.

3. Two big organizations serve as a hub for food banks in our region

Volunteer packing holiday boxes at the Community Food Bank of Central Alabama. Photo via Community Foodbank of Central Alabama’s Facebook page

Community Food Bank of Central Alabama

Alabama Food Bank Association

4. Junior League of Birmingham is working hard on food insecurity

JLB at Community Food Bank of Central Alabama
Junior League of Birmingham has so many ways to help with food insecurity in our community. Photo via JLB’s Facebook

Whether you need help or want to give help, you’ll find them on their website or on Facebook. They have a lot of different ways you can do either one.

5. Greater Birmingham Ministries (GBM) is working hard to help feed people

Drive through food bank with GBM
GBM offers monthly drive-through food pickup. Photo via GBM’s Facebook

According to Rev. Carolyn Foster, GBM, distributes food monthly.

When: 3rd Friday of each month beginning at 6:30AM
Who: 1st come 1st served for 120 families
Where: 2304 12th Avenue North, Birmingham, AL 35234
How: drive-through only, per CDC guidelines

Contact: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | (205) 326-6821

6. Meals on Wheels feeds area seniors

With a very small contribution, you can make a big difference to area seniors. Photo via United Way of Central Alabama’s Facebook

If you haven’t noticed by now, United Way does a lot of good in our community. Meals on Wheels is one of their many low-cost, high impact programs.

7. Many organizations are working to support Birmingham’s Spanish-speaking population

Linea de Ayuda COVID-19
Call this helpline for help in Spanish for anything COVID-related, including food insecurity. Photo via Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice’s Facebook

The pandemic is impacting our Spanish-speaking residents in some pretty specific—and not great—ways. Fortunately, there are some fantastic groups out there providing assistance.

If you or someone you know is a Spanish-speaker, call 1-844-AYUDA-AL for help with anything COVID-19 related, including healthcare, rent, utilities, food, immigration assistance, domestic violence, etc. 

Find out more, including how you can help:

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Together, we can get through this pandemic. This holiday season, if you can, give to any organization helping to feed our neighbors.

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Sharron Swain
Writer, Interviewer + Adventurer | Telling stories to make a difference
Articles: 522