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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – September is Feeding America’s Hunger Action Month. A month-long push in the nonprofit’s effort to end food insecurity.

The Food Bank of North Alabama serves 11 counties, their client numbers only exacerbated by the pandemic.

“Unfortunately for a lot of people who are struggling to overcome food insecurity, they’re forced to choose between medicine or food or paying their utilities,” Development Director Bobby Bozeman said.

The food bank hopes to take away that tough choice by helping thousands facing food insecurity, using the next few weeks of this year’s Hunger Action Month to raise awareness on the issue.

“It’s in every zip code, it’s in every county, it’s in every neighborhood. We estimate about one in four children don’t know where their next meal will be coming from in North Alabama, so I think it’s a lot greater than people realize,” Bozeman said.

The food bank purchased five times as many truckloads of food in 2020 than they did in 2019.

Bozeman estimates 30% of their clients became first-time visitors during the pandemic. A few months ago, however, their numbers began leveling out, but Bozeman said as federal assistance programs end, things are changing.

“Now, as we’re seeing a lot of those protections we had last year, those benefits be rolled back to normal levels, we’re seeing an increase in need coming back again,” he said.

The food bank is hoping Hunger Action Month encourages Tennessee Valley donors to continue helping them on their mission.

“The community sees people who are doing without and is stepping up to help them. We’ve been proud to live in a community that continues to support us and be charitable with what they have,” Bozeman said.

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