HARTSELLE, Ala. – The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many people to stock their pantries full of non-perishable foods.
Meanwhile, the non-profit Feeding Families of Alabama has been struggling to keep up with a spike in demand, but thanks to the help of volunteers like Izen Thornton, they have been able to stay afloat.
Feeding Families of Alabama in Hartselle is that shoulder to lean on — especially now.
Edee Grun is the director of Feeding Families of Alabama and she said they normally serve around 350 to 400 people a week, but on Monday she said they served 699 people.
Grun said the need has continued every day.
“Since then, we have been doing emergency assistance and feeding 12 to 15 families per day, every single day,” said Grun.
The food pantry needs more food donations. They welcome any perishable food items as well as perishables because they want to make sure Alabama families have nutritious food.
15-year-old Izen Thornton started a food drive at his school to help to feed families just a few days before schools closed.
“Because of COVID-19, that had kind of been halted because of school cancelation,” said Thornton. “Me and my mom went around and for like the entire day and we collected food. We had like 55 loaves of bread.”
Instead of using his free time to relax, he’s helping others.
“A lot of things have been canceled, but it gives me an opportunity to come volunteer more,” said Thornton.
He was chosen by Grun to be the Feeding Families Community Hero for March 2020.
Grun said the following on a Facebook post:
“Izen is a young man of few words, but let me tell you, once he sets his mind on a project to help? He follows through with determination, self-sacrifice, and his whole heart!”
And he is hoping more Alabamians will join in with him, so we can use this time of social distance to make a social impact.