MADISON COUNTY, Ala. – Three North Alabama non-profits are headed into the new year with some extra money in their bank accounts.

On Wednesday, the Madison County Commission awarded three $20,000 grant contracts to Manna House, the Food Bank of North Alabama, and Casa of Madison County. All three organizations work to fight food insecurity in the Tennessee Valley.

According to the World Bank, food insecurity has been worsened by the pandemic. It’s an issue that Fran Fluhler, director of the Manna House, has seen right here in North Alabama.

“Food costs and gas prices have gone up,” Fluhler said. “You know, we’re seeing a real variety of people.”

Food insecurity doesn’t discriminate. It’s an issue that Fluhler says can hit in the most unexpected of times.

“We always see people who are on chemo or dialysis and are going through a tough time financially,” Fluhler said. “Or maybe they’ve had a bad car wreck and they’re in rehab. But then we have the people who are just trying to make it. And they’re working. And they’ve got a full-time job. But times are tough.”

Madison County Commission Chairman Dale Strong hopes the grant funding will help these organizations continue to make an impact in the communities they serve.

“These agencies provide support to untold thousands of men, women, and children all across the Valley, many of which may have fallen on tough times as a result of the pandemic and economic displacement,” Strong said. “These grants will go directly for providing food to those in need.”