By Cecilia Wood
Days are getting shorter and the temps are slowly but surely dropping in Birmingham. Many of our neighbors are facing hunger, due to the rate of food insecurity in Birmingham.
According to the USDA, 13.1% of households in Alabama are food insecure and 4.6% are very low food secure households. Plus, close to two million Alabama residents live in a food desert, or a region with “large proportions of households with low incomes, inadequate access to transportation and a limited number of food retailers providing fresh produce and healthy groceries for affordable prices”.
With the help of our friends at Kroger, here are seven nonprofits and food banks in Birmingham that provide food to those in need in Birmingham, so whether you’re looking for options for yourself or a loved one or you want to give back, save this as a resource.
If you want to support local food banks, donating money allows the organization to put money where they need it most.
- Magic City Harvest
Magic City Harvest has existed since 1995 to “End Waste, End Hunger”. The local nonprofit works to alleviate food waste and food insecurity in Birmingham by recovering excess food from restaurants, grocery stores, caterers and other entities and delivering that food to 30 agencies.
- Meals on Wheels
Meals on Wheels is a United Way of Central Alabama program that serves nearly 2,000 homebound seniors *daily* in Jefferson County. Beyond providing much-needed meals to our neighbors, the delivery program is also an important source of social interaction, especially for seniors who might not see others every day.
- Blazer Kitchen, UAB
College students have plenty on their plates, from keeping up with assignments to figuring out what they want to do after graduating. Finding out where their next meal comes from shouldn’t top the list of their concerns, but for many students and employees, it’s reality. UAB’s Blazer Kitchen offers two food pantries to provide food for students and employees in need.
FeedBHM, a Grace Klein Community food rescue project, mobilizes local volunteers (via app.feedbhm.org) to rescue food from local restaurants, grocers and cafes. In 2021, they rescued over 1 million pounds of food to assist over 38,000 families through their food distribution partners and drive thru locations.
- Manna Ministries
Manna Ministries donates food to families in Chilton, Jefferson and Shelby counties every weekend, primarily with donations from local grocery stores and donations from volunteers.
- BackPack Buddies
BackPack Buddies, a program offered by Vineyard Family Services, fights food insecurity among school children on weekends “because hunger doesn’t take a break on the weekends”. Volunteers discretely provide school students with nutritious and easy-to-prepare food they can take home.
- Hubs for food banks
There are two big organizations that are vital to providing food to mobile pantries and local food banks: the Community Food Bank of Central Alabama and the Alabama Food Bank Association.
MORE: If you’re looking for other options to support or are in need of a meal, check out these options.
What Kroger’s doing to help
Kroger’s new to the Birmingham area with its local delivery service, but it’s not new to the mission of ending hunger. In 2018, Kroger established the Zero Hunger | Zero Waste action plan to build a sustainable food system that provides affordable, fresh food for everyone.
In 2021, Kroger directed $343 million in charitable giving, with $200 million focused on improving food security in the communities where they operate.
For more info on how Kroger is working to eliminate food hunger and waste, check out its website.
For more on the modern. mobile guide to Birmingham, visit bhamnow.com