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FLORENCE, Ala. — Employees and volunteers at the Shoals Dream Center work to sort and organize foods donated from local grocery stores daily.

In 2019, the center supplied more than 5,300 families with more than 1 million pounds of food. This year, they’ve already helped nearly half that many families.

To further that mission, Distribution Director Dave Davis said the center needs the help of donations—either food or monetary.

“A lot of our donations come from local grocery stores, but right now, because as you will know, because you go into a local grocery store now and you see empty shelves then they don’t have what we need to donate to us or what they normally donate to us,” said Davis.

Part of that is because of panic buying.

“It does affect us,” said Davis. “And it affects the people that we’re able to help; we’re helping people that don’t have a way to just go to the grocery stores and buy.”  

It’s an issue Davis said has come about due to the spread of COVID-19. In order to increase that distribution, the center is hosting a community-wide food drive. Davis said he hopes the drive will raise enough food and money to help those who are elderly or struggling financially due to recent closures or layoffs.

The center is accepting non-perishable food items like dry boxed goods and canned goods. For monetary donations, those can be taken to the Shoals Dream Center at 2950 Cloverdale Road in Florence or submitted online only at

This drive will continue through April 20 however the Shoals Dream Center will consider an extension if necessary.