Charitable Food Bank Matches Up Donations, Volunteers and God’s Blessings
After local parents were arrested, social workers learned the household’s two children had survived for 14 months only on food backpacks received at school. But this grave situation actually reflects an inspiring example of a community taking care of each other.
Jim and Linda Jones spearhead the charitable food nonprofit that makes these backpacks possible. Alabama Childhood Food Solutions is a volunteer-driven group that currently feeds 2,200 food-insecure children each week when they aren’t in school.
The Joneses got the idea after completing 25 international mission trips to feed starving people. Jim says they discovered the percentage of local children needing food was the same as it was in Kenya.
“We started in 2011 with 40 backpacks out of our pickup truck,” he says.
Now, the food bank covers children at 38 schools due to the generosity of U.S. Route 280-area grocery stores and hundreds of volunteers who operate from the nonprofit’s 8,000-square-foot warehouse.
Jim says 60,000 pounds of food are distributed in an average month.
“As our services grow, we need more volunteers and more people or businesses to host food drives,” he says.
He adds that 37 churches also donate provisions.
“God continues to bless by providing all this food.”