Food giveaway to feed more than 200 families
by Emily McLain
SYLACAUGA — After an overwhelming response to the city’s first food bank giveaway last month, residents are getting another chance to receive essential food items at no cost.

The Community Food Bank of Central Alabama, in partnership with Alabama Childhood Food Solutions, End Hunger Sylacauga and The Sanctuary, will be distributing meat, breads and non-perishable food items June 21 starting at 10 a.m. at the former Food World parking lot on Main Avenue.

A giveaway held May 9 served 471 individuals, according to CFBCA, a record high number for its relatively new giveaway program supported by USDA. ACFS co-director Jim Jones said they are expecting another large turnout next week and will have about 7,000 pounds of food to serve roughly 225 to 250 families.

Anyone in need of emergency food assistance in Talladega County is eligible, as well as those who receive SNAP, TANF, SSI or meet certain income guidelines. Proof of need is not required, and there is no pre-registration. Attendees will receive a number upon registration and wait in line until their number is called to be served. Everyone is asked to being a sack or box to transport their food.

The first giveaway was funded by CFBCA, but this giveaway is being funded through Sylacauga SnoBiz owners Archie and Denise Horton, who have pledged to collect donations through their business to support a monthly $985 giveaway for the foreseeable future. Archie Horton said they were convicted to support the cause after his wife saw the long line at the first giveaway.

“Most people are like us — they didn’t know there was a problem,” he said. “My wife saw all those people standing out there and she came home upset, saying, ‘We have to do something.’”

Since then, SnoBiz has turned its profit into donations to be used to bring the food truck to the city, raising money at recent fundraisers at Pinecrest Elementary School and an Omya staff picnic. “The food truck is not going to fix the problem of hunger or homelessness in Sylacauga, but it will sustain it until we can find a solution,” Horton said. “It looks like more and more people are willing to get involved now that their eyes have been opened.”

Jones said they are grateful for the community support and will continue to need it in increasing amounts as Childhood Food Solutions and its newly created adult service branch End Hunger Sylacauga achieve their goal of providing food to those in need.

For more information on the giveaway, contact ACFS or End Hunger Sylacauga at 256-207-8048. Contact the Community Food Bank of Central Alabama at 205-942-8911.

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