Food Bank helps Albany residents -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Food Bank helps Albany residents



More than one hundred people in need lined up in downtown Albany this afternoon for a food giveaway.

Second Harvest of South Georgia gave five thousand pounds of food to two downtown homeless shelters to give to people in the neighborhood. That neighborhood in central Albany is termed a "food desert", because of a lack of grocery stores.  

People who live near the North Monroe and West Broad Avenue are more than one mile from the nearest grocery store, a tough walk if you don't have a car.  And the Food Bank says there are many hungry people in that neighborhood because of that distance.

Lisa Walters picks up bread, peanut butter, vegetables and fruits today.  She says it will really help her. "Without these types of events and the hospitality of the people that come together to help us in need, I don't know what we would do."

A widow who has struggled to find work since the death of her husband, Walters, like many other people in this Albany neighborhood,  is glad to receive the food gift. "A lot of us are in need.  The economic times have really hit us all. And as you see, it could be more."

The Second Harvest of South Georgia Food Bank used the Faith Community Outreach Center homeless shelter yard for their food giveaway. One of the directors says the need for food is greater now than in their 17 years of work.

 "Hunger is a problem in this community.  We get calls for everything from needing baby food to formula to just canned goods. As well as other basic need services," said  Faith Community Outreach Center's Dr. Iris Davis. 

  Vegetables and fruits are hard to come by in what is termed a food desert.  Hamburgers or snacks from convenience stores are close by, but nutritious foods like these are often in short supply.

 "When you talk about Albany's poverty level, the majority of your poverty is in this area.  Within this five mile area of downtown Albany," said Food Bank Branch Director Jim Case. 

There was enough to give everyone a bag of food, and that made the wait in the cold wind well worth it.  Lisa Walters said she is not too proud to take a helping hand.

 "If it wasn't for things like this, I would cry everyday," Walters said.

For these hundred folks there will be fewer tears tonight. Many grocery stores like Walmart, Sam's,  Publix, Winn Dixie, and Target donated much of the fresh food handed out today to the Food Bank.  Food Bank officials say these stores are great partners, to make sure food does not go to waste when it's needed.

Tuesday the Food Bank will sponsor another, bigger food donation to the community.  It will start at 11 AM at the Cutliff Grove Family Resource Center at 841 West Broad Avenue.



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