The Food Bank of North Alabama distributes nearly five million pounds of food each year to families in need. Last year it moved more that seven million pounds, but rarely did these donations include eggs. Local farmers helped change that this year with an egg-straordinary donation.
A chicken averages laying one egg a day, so the chickens at James Farm in Horton, Ala. put in some major overtime this week.
For the fifth straight year, James Farm, along with the United Egg Producers, donated more than 21,600 eggs to the Food Bank of North Alabama.
Despite their nutritional value, eggs are one of the hardest food items for food banks to acquire and this donation couldn't come at a better time.
"Our egg supply is normally near zero without this," said Food Bank of North Alabama Coordinator Richard Hartz. "Sometimes in the past the USDA has been able to get us some powdered eggs, but it's been a long time since we've had that. So fresh eggs are extremely rare for us to get."
Of the five pallets donated, three were loaded with jumbo eggs, two with large and all were laid and processed on Wednesday to guarantee freshness. These eggs will all go to help the 11 percent of the north Alabama population to receive food assistance.
"They'll probably all be gone within two weeks," said Hartz. "We certainly hope so. They've got a lot of date left on them, so we're happy about that, but we have 231 agencies in 11 counties and many of them are going to come and get this because they're proud to be able to offer this to their clients."
With Easter just a few days away, even more kids also will get a crack at all of the holiday's traditions.
The Food Bank of North America is also in the process of adding a 10 thousand cubic foot cooler to help handle more fresh produce for its clients. It's expected to be up and running in the next few months.