Just when the Community Food Bank of Central Alabama was facing the extraordinary challenge to meet the growing needs for food assistance during the coronavirus crisis, one of its forklifts broke.
Considering the food bank in a normal year gathers and distributes about 16 million pounds of food throughout its 12-county service area, and this year it looks like the food bank will surpass that amount by fall, it was a big deal.
“The COIVD-19 pandemic has created a huge spike in requests for our services,” food bank CEO Brett Meredith said in a statement, “We’ve had to adapt quickly in order to meet the needs of our neighbors and get food out efficiently and safely.”
In a matter of days, six Rotary Clubs in the area got together to raise $7,500 to cover the cost of the forklift repair and provide preventative maintenance on the other machines.
“The Rotary Clubs do so much for us and our community. We cannot thank them enough,” Elizabeth Wix, the food banks director of partnerships, said in a statement.
Moving food at the scale the food bank is used to requires heavy equipment and warehouse space. The loss of a forklift made it difficult to pull and fill orders, load mobile pantry trucks and unload donations.
This is not the first time the Rotary Clubs have helped the food bank fulfill its mission. When expansion of programming caused a shortage in shelf space in the food bank’s warehouse, RotaryClubs supplied a grant to buy a newer, larger racking system.
The Rotary Clubs that helped the food bank carry out repairs on its forklift were Anniston Noon, Trussville, Downtown Birmingham, Birmingham Sunrise, Shades Valley, Jasper and Vestavia Hills.