Montgomery Area Food Bank sees distribution increase during pandemic

Published: Oct. 12, 2021 at 10:45 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, so does the need for food across the country.

Millions of Americans have turned to food banks for the first time because of the pandemic.

Though the numbers have dropped in recent weeks, the amount of food being distributed is still more than what the food banks have been used to. It has been 55% higher than pre-pandemic levels.

That means the Montgomery Area Food Bank is busier than normal working to meet that need.

“We’ve distributed 31.4 million pounds this last fiscal year, and the previous year it was 31.6 million pounds,” Montgomery Area Food Bank Chief Operations Officer David Fata said.

They’ve been able to distribute all that additional food thanks to donations from the community.

“When we have that donation dollar then we’re able to not only get the food that we need but the specific types of foods that we like to get to have that good, nutritional balance that we would like for our clients to have,” Fata said.

With so much food, their challenge now is trying to get it to the people who need it.

Montgomery Food Bank CEO Richard Deem says one of the ways they’re doing that is by setting up mobile pantries.

“We then take a tractor-trailer load of food and, with the help of volunteers, we distribute that food to everyone that shows up,” Deem said.

The food bank also uses partner agencies to distribute food, and they’re always looking for new, innovative ways to increase the number of people they serve.

The food bank services more than half the state, and estimates more than 300,000 Alabamians are “food insecure.”

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