The Alabama Food Bank Association (ALFBA) was founded in 2010 and works to end hunger by assisting the food bank network in obtaining more food and funds, fostering public awareness of the food banks’ mission, and creating partnerships to help alleviate hunger in Alabama.
ALFBA plays an integral role in the fight to end hunger in Alabama. ALFBA serves as a founding member of Gov. Kay Ivey’s End Child Hunger in Alabama Taskforce, we are a proud member of the Feeding America Network, and our organization founded the first summer meals program in Florence, Auburn, and Tuscaloosa, Alabama. During our three years as a summer meals sponsor, we have provided more than 125,000 meals to over 3,000 children.
We work to help align efforts of Alabama’s eight food banks to ensure food and funds are serving needs throughout our great state. Our work throughout the state to address policy and programs related to hunger has been recognized by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food Research & Action Center (FRAC), and Feeding America. Our office has provided policy briefings to local, state, and federal elected officials on the nature of food insecurity in Alabama.
In 2014, ALFBA began working with the USDA Southeastern Regional Office on addressing Alabama’s designation as a “target state” for summer meals- meaning our state had a large percentage of children on free and reduced lunch who did not have access to meals due to schools being closed in the summer and lack of summer meals sites. ALFBA opened four sites in Florence, Alabama during summer 2014. During summer 2017, our reach will have expanded to include 30 sites in Florence, Huntsville, and Birmingham. In 2016 Alabama was selected as one of three states by the National League of Cities to receive special funding for cities to expand their summer and after school feeding programs. ALFBA was selected to serve as the anti-hunger organization to lead this effort. Over $300,000 was brought into the state from ALFBA’s partnership with the National League of Cities to expand this work in the following Alabama cities: Alabaster, Anniston, Brewton, Clanton, Florence, Huntsville, Hobson City, Mobile, Prattville, Russellville, and Tuskegee.
The Alabama Food Bank Association operates three programs in conjunction with an array of policy initiatives.Through our advocate training program, we educate food bank agencies, elected officials and community partners on the nature of food insecurity in Alabama. Far too many Alabamians believe that hunger is a problem mainly faced by third-world countries; yet one in four children and one in six adults in our state face food insecurity, while a quarter of the state lives in a food desert. The challenges that face our food banks are immense; from connecting the most rural parts of our state with food to serving inner-city blighted neighborhoods, we reach every corner of our state on our mission to end hunger in Alabama. Educating others on the reality of hunger in Alabama is an important facet of our work in building awareness and understanding of our neighbors silent struggles and of the work of our food bank network. Our outreach and education program also includes the Alabama Legal Food Frenzy, where we work with the Alabama Bar Association to raise awareness and funds to support the work of our four Feeding America food banks and four Feeding America Partner Distribution Organizations.