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FLORENCE, Ala. — Food insecurity remains an issue across the nation, and in the Tennessee Valley, the Food Bank of North Alabama is expanding to serve even more areas.

The food bank’s Shoals branch opened in April and looks to serve an area that Shoals warehouse manager Jeff Johnson said was previously underserved.

“There is a fair amount of food insecurity here in the Shoals area which is obviously what we’re trying to combat,” he said. “There’s about one in four kids in this northwest Alabama region, suffer from food insecurity. So that’s kind of one of the big reasons that we decided to put this branch over here.”

The branch partners with a number of churches and nonprofit organizations like the Shoals Dream Center and the downtown Florence Help Center. Johnson said the food bank’s impact would be almost impossible without those partnerships.

“We just could not reach out to the number of people that they all serve,” he said. “Delivering meals directly to people is a small part of what we do; the much, much larger part is food that goes through these kinds of organizations.”

The Shoals branch currently receives its food supply from the headquarters in Huntsville but Johnson said it’s in the process of expanding to include refrigeration and its own box truck, “and when we get some of those things in place, then we’ll be able to accept donations and organize them and get it shipped back out,” Johnson added.

It’s a growing effort to serve the Shoals community to see that no family goes hungry.

The Food Bank of North Alabama feeds more than 80,000 people a year in 11 north Alabama counties.

You can help with their efforts to end hunger by making a donation. Just $1 provides almost seven meals. To donate, click here.