Food pantries in need of donations ahead of holiday season

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — With just less than two weeks until Thanksgiving, local food pantries are making sure they have enough food to feed anyone in need this holiday season.

The Canterbury United Methodist Church in Mountain Brook is just one of the places people can turn to when they’re in need.

The church hands out a brown bag full of groceries every Friday to anyone who needs it, but when their emergency pantry runs low, they are at risk having to turn people away.

After they use all of their allotted grant money on groceries to fill up the brown bags, they still depend on the community to donate to their emergency pantry.

“The emergency pantry is huge, you know, when you run out of money to make the meal bags and you still have people coming in line rather than turn them away we really love to have emergency food in the pantry,” said Susan Dowdey, the Brown Bag Project director.

Anyone can drop off canned foods, peanut butter, crackers and non-perishable items at the church anytime.

The Salvation Army in Birmingham is running low of food in its pantry. On any given day, the Salvation Army will serve about 500 meals.

The weather is getting cooler and the Salvation Army is noticing its usual increase in the amount of people who are in need this time of the year.

Looking around the food pantry, it was hard to miss all of the empty shelves and empty shelves means those hundreds of people could be without meals.

“You see a lot of empty shelves and we’re just a little concerned about how that’s going to play out over the next few days in particular just to meet that need for 500 meals a day,” said Major Bob Parker,

The Salvation Army relies on the community to keep the shelves full especially leading into the holidays. The Salvation Army recently kicked off its Red Kettle Campaign, which means all of the money donated to those kettles will go directly back to our local communities.

“If you have a group, especially if you have a group, a church group, a Sunday school class a small group or a small business or any kind of group you’re apart of to do a little bit of a food drive would be wonderful.” said Major Parker.

The Salvation Army is also in need of bell ringers and volunteers to help with daily operations.

You can drop off any non-perishable food items at Canterbury United Methodist Church, which is located at 350 Overbrook Rd in Mountain Brook.

For a list of items you can donate to the Salvation Army, click here.

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