Help is here for the hungry

With inflation still on the rise, the need for food is rising in tandem. More and more local families are finding themselves in need of assistance to find enough food to feed their families every day. Personally, I know more families that are struggling as opposed to not. If you have suffered from true hunger, you know how desperate it can make you feel, especially when there are others depending upon you to provide. Scottsboro and Jackson County are seeing this issue escalate for some time now, with no end in sight.

Every first Saturday morning of every month at 8:30 a.m., St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Scottsboro opens their food pantry as a drive-thru. Local grocery stores donate largely to this resource, and frozen meat, meals and non-perishables can be found there.

The Rev. Polly Robb, Rector of St. Luke’s stated, “We’re small, but we have been able to consistently help so many families. Hunger has become a real issue here, and the community has stepped up to help us supply aid. We have heard back from so many that it made such a tremendous difference.”

St. Luke’s also accepts monetary and non-perishable donations, including all non-perishables in addition to foods that don’t have to be cooked on a stovetop. Monetary donations can be written to St. Luke’s / memo: Food Pantry, and non-perishable donations can be dropped at St. Luke’s Food Box, at 402 South Scott Street in Scottsboro.

Food Pantry Coordinator Melody Reed stated, “We don’t take personal information. If you say you need, we want to help meet that need. This is a safe space, and we want everyone to know that. Students getting ready to graduate are also welcome to volunteer if they need community service hours. We definitely need volunteers the first of the month.”

If you are interested in volunteering the first week of the month, give St. Luke’s church office a call at 256.574.6216.

In addition to St. Luke’s there is also a food pantry located at the Garden of Hope. Both of these resources offer free food.

The Garden of Hope, located at the corner of South Broad and Appletree Street in Scottsboro, is a project of the Jackson County Drug Court, under Judge John H. Graham. The Garden is tended to by participants of the Drug Court Program, and as always, whatever grows there is available to the community for free. In its ninth year, the Garden is ready for the growing season, with planting already underway. As you drive by, you might see some helping hands out there working hard to tend to the plants, and every one of those are volunteers.

The Garden sits right in front of the Jackson County Juvenile Court, and right beside the building is a food pantry. Built and installed by Girl Scout Gracie Zech, the pantry takes all donations of non-perishables, including feminine hygiene products like pads and tampons. The non-perishables should be safe to be exposed to some heat and elements. Ramen noodles and noodles in a cup are a good choice as the weather warms. If you are interested in keeping this particular pantry on your list, check on it from time to time and plan accordingly the next time you’re in the store.

Donations can be dropped off at any time, and they are most welcome.

Nourish One Child also operates out of Scottsboro, and they are filling bags for school-age children to take home to tide them over with something to eat through the weekend. Believe it or not, an astounding number of local students receive most of their daily meals at school, coming home to an empty cupboard. If you are interested in how you can contribute to this program, please visit their website at Monetary donations and food donations are happily accepted. They could also use volunteers to help fill bags. A more in-depth list of local food banks and resources is available on our website:

On a more personal note, I have been gifted the opportunity to live in many places and countries in my lifetime, and I have seen firsthand what can happen around us when we don’t care enough to take action, and I have witnessed what we are capable of achieving when we do. And while I am only in my forties, I have learned and experienced many seasons, and I have embraced they come to each of us. I have been in situations where one can of food made the difference between another day without a meal, and I have been in situations where I have been able to spare what I had to share with another. I encourage whoever is reading this to take a look at what you have sitting way back in your pantries. If there is something you can spare, grab it, bag it, and make a difference for someone out there today with an empty belly. If you have even a dollar to spare, it makes a difference, because what if that’s all everyone else has? It adds up.
Times are hard right now, but they don’t have to hurt as much.

by Martha Smith

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