Food collected for WALB’s Days of Giving total 40K meals

Video from WALB
Published: Dec. 1, 2022 at 6:18 PM EST
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - Thanks to WALB viewers and the community, the station’s Days of Giving Food Drive will help feed thousands of families in South Georgia.

Corporations like SafeAire and Sunbelt, and many others, also contributed, and they have made it their mission to help serve those who serve them.

“Because Dougherty, Lee County, and surrounding counties have been to Sunbelt, we like to give back to the community when we can,” Michael Erving, general sales manager at Sunbelt, said.

Sunbelt’s employees and management contributed a few thousand meals. As of Thursday morning, there was 9,800 pounds of food. That was enough for 37,000 meals. Mike’s Country Store stepped in and pushed the total to 10,000 pounds, or five tons of food. That is enough for over 40,000 meals.

Cheryl Maddox, the Albany site manager of Feeding the Valley, said the collective total of everyone’s contributions was a surprise to her.

“I honestly thought that people are not going to be want to shop for anybody else. With the prices of everything, I’m just going to purchase things for myself. Albany shows out. I’m sorry. Albany shows out. Whenever we are in need and every time I underestimate, they show me how wrong I am,” Maddox said.

Maddox made very impactful phone calls after the event.

More than 10,000 pounds of food was collected with nearly $5,000 of monetary donations too.
More than 10,000 pounds of food was collected with nearly $5,000 of monetary donations too. (WALB)

“We have over 100 agencies that we were able to reach out and let them know that we have food in. We were able to supply them with what we’ve got this week,” she said.

Despite the support, Feeding the Valley still needs donations. Maddox estimates the food collected this week is enough for just over 1,000 boxes.

“We average about 15,000 boxes a month that we give out. And it continues to grow,” Maddox said.

That means she has to use food collected by their Columbus headquarters often. Despite this reality, Maddox still said everyone who donated made a big difference.

“Right now, I feel a lot better because I definitely know if somebody calls and they are trying to feed 75, 200 people next week. We can definitely make sure that they are taken care of,” Maddox said.

Although the food drive is over, you can still donate to Feeding The Valley. Just come to their Albany location Monday-Thursday, anytime between 7 a.m.-4 p.m.

“I definitely want to make sure that the kids get taken care of. They are out of school. Snacks for the kids. Pop Tarts, individually wrapped, snacks, cakes and cereals. That kind of stuff,” Maddox said.

The thousands of pounds of food collected during the Days of Giving Food Drive will be sorted in the next week and they will be distributed within two weeks based on who needs them.

“We’ve got a lot of big churches that have really been ramping up their giving. Whether it’s Hope City, Grace City. They’ve been amazing just getting stuff by the truckload. They will be here posting about their food distributions that they are going to have with food boxes,” Maddox said.