Hungry people need good food year round

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 30, 2004

Hungry people need food all year around, not just on holidays, and those who have not enough to eat depend on a constant supply.

Food recipients and the Selma Area Food Bank are extremely grateful for the enormous outpouring of food and contributions in recent months.

The November food drive in the schools – which was extended for the full month for the first time because of urgent need – was the best ever, according to Buddy Wiltsie, executive director of the food bank.

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The kind of vision, energy and enthusiasm exhibited by the schools this year was highly commendable, he said.

When asked about current needs, however, he said that the principal supplier of foodstuffs for the Selma food bank, the Montgomery Area Food Bank, had sent a huge quantity of snack items recently. Now there is a place for these, he said, but the year-in, year-out staple food items that area food distribution centers, more than 80 in number, depend on – cereals, canned meat, fish, fruit and vegetables – are always in short supply.

For example, fish and meat are especially hard to come by. During hunting season there is a good supply of venison, but the season is ending and with it the supply.

He said that the food bank received some hams recently and these were greatly appreciated by the groups receiving food from the food bank for distribution to the needy.

So it’s a constant battle.

Wiltsie said he hopes that schools and other groups who have demonstrated great interest in and support of food for the poor consider year-round drives, with special times of emphasis during the year as with the November food drives.

The food distribution system in west central Alabama is not &uot;just another program.&uot; It is vital and essential, and as long as poverty and unemployment and underemployment persist, a steady supply of nutritious food will be critical.

For information, contact the Selma Area Food Bank at (334) 872-4111.