Canned goods aren’t the only “goods” happening at the Food Bank of North Alabama — but they’re still a huge part of the organization. They’re especially important during February, recognized as National Canned Food Month.
Bobby Bozeman, development director for Food Bank of North Alabama, said the organization isn’t simply a local food initiative. It also serves as a warehouse and distribution center for more than 200 organizations in North Alabama that serve those struggling with food insecurity.
Those include large partners like Rose of Sharon and Manna House to small, soup kitchens hosted by local churches. No matter the size, these organizations source food from the Food Bank of North Alabama.
“Having the option for shelf-stable food like this is really important for us,” Bozeman said. “Canned goods are a big part of what we do.”
According to Americorps, canned foods are so important because they can be stored away for any emergency — including chilly winters, natural disasters or lack of access to a grocery store.
Bozeman said canned goods are more versatile because of their staying power on the shelf. The same can’t be said for produce, meat or dairy, which expire more quickly.
“Vegetables and proteins like beans or chicken are much harder to find, but those are highly requested items,” Bozeman said. “If you come across those for donations, it will go a long way with those we serve.”
Calling all volunteers
Bozeman said the Food Bank of North Alabama gives out just under 1 million pounds of food each month, and volunteers play a huge part in making that happen.
“40 or 50% of that food is canned goods,” Bozeman added. “We always need volunteers to sort those and other donations just to make sure they’re within a safe date range and to check for dents.”
To volunteer with the Food Bank of North Alabama, contact Volunteer Coordinator Christi Garris at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Beyond National Canned Food Month
The month of February also brings along a “Peanut Butter Push” for the organization.
“Whether it’s added to a recipe or eaten straight out of the jar, peanut butter is a great source of vitamins, fatty acids, protein and much more,” the organization said. “Help [us] spread the love by donating peanut butter this February.”
While the focus may be on peanut butter now, donations of all kinds are accepted year-round.
Located at 2000-B Vernon Avenue in Huntsville, the Food Bank of North Alabama is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Learn more about the Food Bank of North Alabama and their efforts here.