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COA looks for support in coming food, fund drive

The Christian Outreach Alliance (COA) Food Pantry will host its annual “Stock the Shelves” Food and Fund Drive Friday, Oct. 30, from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m. at its headquarters on J.L Chestnut Boulevard.

COA distributes roughly 10,000 bags of food each year to needy residents across Dallas County and has on hand an average of 18 volunteers each week handing out food during the pantry’s monthly distributions.

Funding and support for the pantry comes from a handful of downtown churches, grants, individuals and private memorials and contributions, with most of the pantry’s food purchased from the Selma Area Food Bank (SAFB).

The annual event is the pantry’s only food and fund drive each year and COA Director Jacque Johnson is worried that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic might cut into donations for this year’s event.

“We are concerned the COVID-19 virus will have a severe negative impact on our entire ‘Stock the Shelves’ campaign,” Johnson said in an email. “However, our volunteers will be on site and you won’t have to get out of your vehicle.”

Due to the pandemic, donations will be accepted in a drive-thru method, with volunteers unloading donations out of people’s cars to limit contact.

Additionally, monetary donations can be dropped off in person or sent via mail to P.O. Box 2141, Selma, AL, 36702.

“No amount is too small and certainly no amount is too large,” Johnson said in the email.

The COA Food Pantry will be open this Thursday for its monthly distribution, which will be conducted via drive-thru with cars entering the food pantry parking lot from Mabry Street, from 10 a.m. until noon.

For more information, contact Johnson at 334.505-1226.