EJI starts new initiative to fight hunger in Alabama

Published: Sep. 7, 2022 at 9:56 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 7, 2022 at 10:15 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - The Equal Justice Initiative is starting a new program to address food needs in Alabama.

“Alabama has one of the highest rates of food insecurity in the country,” Executive Director Bryan Stevenson said.

Stevenson added inflation has exacerbated hunger problems, saying “that dollar doesn’t get the same things that a dollar got at the grocery store a year ago.”

The program will help food banks in the state like the Food Bank of East Alabama, West Alabama Food Bank, Helping Hand Ministries and Edmundite Missions address their needs as more families “are now going to food pantries and food banks for the first time.”

Stevenson also mentioned there will be a separate program to help families who have specific dietary needs, such as diabetes, allergies and intolerances, and others.

“Often the distribution models that we rely on aren’t capable of being tailored to those different kinds of needs and those different kinds of families,” he said.

EJI plans to focus on poor rural areas and urban areas that are considered food deserts for its initiative.

Stevenson said fighting hunger decreases the possibility of children misbehaving in school, plus people are less likely to commit crimes.

“It opens up opportunities for education and employment and healthy living conditions,” Stevenson said.

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