Alabama is one of the most food insecure states in the country. And, in today’s struggling economy, hunger is hitting significantly more people who previously would not have needed to look for emergency help. GBM’s Emergency Food Assistance Program services families and individuals who are working, have had their wages stolen, have had work hours reduced, faced layoffs and/or lost their homes. The Program also services a significant number of senior citizens who often must make the difficult choice between two necessities – food and medicine – while others find themselves in the precarious position of taking care of their grandchildren.
It Takes a Village
The Emergency Food Assistance Program could not operate without a “village” of dedicated volunteers and staff. Every Friday is “food day” at GBM. Our staff and volunteers are the heart, soul and face of the Program. They also oversee the day-to-day upkeep of the Food Pantry, as well as the pick-up, receipt and sorting of all food donations. They clean and set-up the waiting area and make sure that over 100 bags of groceries, plus meats and fresh vegetables are packaged and ready to be distributed. They greet the long line of families and individuals in need already waiting outside the doors, circulate the sign-in sheet, pass out paperwork, check client eligibility and distribute the food items. Additionally, they meet with each client individually, listen to their stories, speak with them about their issues and concerns, offer resources and build relationships.