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The Wiregrass Area United Way Food Bank is a non-profit hunger relief charity that solicits and collects surplus food. The Food Bank stores and distributes this food to agencies primarily feeding the needy in a five-county service area that includes Houston, Henry, Dale, Geneva and Coffee counties, as well as parts of northwest Florida and southwest Georgia.

We are an independent non-profit, with paid staff, volunteers, and a board of directors. Operating from an 18,000 square food warehouse with refrigerated storage, and networked through America’s Second Harvest (the nations food bank network), the Food Bank can access food and other assorted grocery products, and operate at a minimal cost. As a result, member non-profit agencies that utilize the Food Bank are able to conduct their food programs in a cost effective manner. No donated food is ever sold by the Food Bank or by any member agency. Food recipients incur no cost for food assistance.

A shared maintenance fee (SMF) assessed to affiliate agencies helps to support the Wiregrass Area United Way Food Bank. Additional financial support is generously donated from churches, civic clubs, businesses and concerned citizens.

Who we serve:

Food is distributed free by affiliate agencies to the hungry, the elderly and children either through on-site meals or by emergency food boxes.

The ultimate beneficiaries of the Food Bank are the people who receive the food we distribute, though much could be said of the benefits received by volunteers, donors and supporters.

Some programs which benefit are:

• Churches
• Food Pantries
• Soup Kitchens
• Group Homes
• Assisted-living Homes
• Half-way Houses
• Day Care Centers
• Senior Citizen Programs
• Developmental Centers
• Emergency Shelters
• Neighborhood Centers
• Nutrition Centers
• Health Care Centers and Programs
• Homeless Shelters
• Brown Bag of the Wiregrass

Where does the food come from?

Surplus food comes from all areas of the food industry. The major sources of surplus food are supermarkets, manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors. USDA commodities are distributed as part of our participation in the Temporary Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP). Alabama Food Bank Association members supply food from statewide sources. The Wiregrass Area United Way Food Bank is an affiliate of America’s Second Harvest and receives product donated nationally to Second Harvest through its certified affiliate food banks across America.

Some reasons for available surplus foods:

• Over Production
• Mislabeled Packages
• Close-dated Products
• Improperly Packaged Products
• Superficially Defaced Products
• Inventory Over Stock
• Farm Surplus
• Government Surplus

To maintain accountability to our donors and to protect the integrity of the food bank system, we monitor our agencies on a regular basis to ensure that food is going to qualified clients, that proper distribution records are kept and that food is stored in a safe environment until distributed.