Volunteers gather in Florence to battle food insecurity

FLORENCE, Ala. – Food insecurity is a growing problem across the Valley. To meet the demand for food pantries in northwest Alabama volunteers packed thousands of meals Wednesday morning.

With each scoop plastic bags were filled. Each bag represents a nutritious meal for someone in need.

The United Way of Northwest Alabama started their annual “Unite to Fight Hunger” campaign four years ago.

Beth Haddock /United Way of Northwest Alabama

“This is what our community does; they show up over and over again and I know they care. It’s evident by the number of people here,” stated Beth Haddock with United Way of Northwest Alabama.

200 volunteers gathered Wednesday morning to pack more than 20,000 meals. They did so in less than an hour.

The meals will go to food pantries across northwest Alabama to help in winter feeding.

“27,000 in the communities that we serve in Franklin, Colbert and Lauderdale have no idea where their next meal is coming from,” Haddock explained. “That’s just inexcusable to me when we have the resources that we have available.”

Krista Manchester / Room in the Inn

Over the years the faces of those needing help has changed; no longer is it the homeless.

“People assume that the hunger that’s out there is minimal, maybe just for homeless people. But we see a lot of families that are struggling to make ends meet,” said Krista Manchester with Room in the Inn.

Everyone needs a hand-up at some point, which is why these volunteers united.

If you know of someone who needs assistance with food securities contact 2-1-1 Connects Alabama. Operators can give you a list of resources for assistance.