ABOUT US

WHAT IS THE WIREGRASS AREA UNITED WAY FOOD BANK?

The Wiregrass Area United Way Food Bank is a non-profit hunger relief charity that solicits and collects donated food. The Food Bank distributes this food to agencies feeding the needy in a six-county service area that includes Houston, Henry, Dale, Geneva, Barbour, and Coffee counties in Alabama.

The Food Bank is an independent non-profit with paid staff, volunteers, and a board of directors. Operating from a warehouse with frozen and refrigerated storage, and networked with other food banks from across the country, the Food Bank can access food and other assorted grocery products and operate at 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 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 BENEFITS FROM THE WIREGRASS AREA FOOD UNITED WAY BANK?

Food is distributed for 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 THAT BENEFIT:

  • Churches
  • Food Pantries
  • Soup Kitchens
  • Group Homes
  • Assisted Living Homes
  • Halfway Houses
  • Day Care Centers
  • Senior Citizen Programs
  • Emergency Shelters
  • Neighborhood Centers
  • HealthCareCenters and Programs
  • Homeless Shelters
  • Homebound Meal Plans
  • Brown Bag of the Wiregrass
  • Dothan Backpack Program

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. Alabama Food Bank Association members supply food from state-wide sources. The Wiregrass Area United Way Food Bank is an affiliate of Feeding America and receives product donated nationally to Feeding America 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 Overstocks
  • 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.

WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES TO USING THE FOOD BANK?

FOR AGENCIES:

The Food Bank will collect surplus and salvageable food and distribute it to agencies serving the needy in southeast Alabama. By bringing the surplus food into a central location, participating agencies will save time, money, and energy which could be put to other use.

FOR BUSINESSES:

The Food Bank offers businesses an alternative to throwing away food. By donating to the Food Bank, businesses may be eligible for valuable tax deductions. More importantly, businesses will have an opportunity to help the hungry in our community and improve the quality of their lives.

Food donated to the Food Bank will be distributed to the hungry in our community through churches, soup kitchens, food pantries and other local agencies concerned with feeding the hungry and ending food insecurity. Local agencies will have access, not only to the Food Bank, but to the scores of other food bank affiliates to share information, resources, and expertise.

AGENCY QUALIFICATIONS FOR PROSPECTIVE MEMBERS:

To participate in the Food Bank, all member agencies must:

  • Be an agency that serves the hungry or other special needs group.
  • Distribute food directly to its clients in the form of meals or packaged food boxes for emergency use.
  • May NOT charge clients for food received or meals served.
  • Provide adequate, clean food storage.
  • Be a recognized church or a tax exempt, non-profit 501(c)(3) charity.
  • Maintain all records as required by the Food Bank.
  • Support the Food Bank by participating in the shared maintenance fee for food received from the Food Bank.
  • Give Civil Rights Assurances to clients served.

CIVIL RIGHTS ASSURANCE

No person shall, on the grounds of race, color, national origin, age, sex, or disability, be excluded from participation in or be denied, or otherwise subject to discrimination under this program. 

In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability.

To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call toll free (866)632-9992 (Voice). TDD users can contact USDA through local relay or the Federal Relay at (800)877-8339 (TDD) or (866)377-8642 (relay voice users). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.