Cullman Caring for Kids struggles to keep up with food pantry demands

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Cullman Caring for Kids Executive Director Javon Daniel surveys empty and dangerously low shelves in the food pantry Tuesday morning. (W.C. Mann for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. – Summer vacation may be over, but hunger never took a break in Cullman County. Cullman Caring for Kids (CCK) Executive Director Javon Daniel told The Tribune Tuesday that, despite generous contributions over the last few months, the agency continues to see shortages of key staple items. As fast as CCK can get some things in the door, they are going right back out to feed local families in need. As a result, the organization, which thrives on donations from businesses and individuals across the community, has had to go shopping recently to buy groceries.

Said Daniel, “The need has not gone away. It continues. We had a great response a couple of months ago, but that’s gone and we need some help with food. Because of the need, we’re having to purchase more food than we normally have to; in fact, I just placed an order with one of the grocery stores for some canned items and some dry good items. We really need some donations.”

Daniel said he and his staff “always need monetary donations, but food donations now are really important.”

He said the agency has immediate needs for jelly (Thanks to a recent large donation, the pantry is well-stocked with peanut butter, but not its classic counterpart.), mac and cheese, dried beans, rice, cereal, canned meats and ready-to-eat pasta meals, dry pasta and spaghetti/tomato sauce, canned vegetables and more.

Daniel noted the pantry will take “anything, food-wise.”

What does a CCK grocery pack contain?

CCK does not waste any contribution received from the community. Daniel said the grocery packs given to families can contain up to 50 pounds of food, and contain staples like:

  • canned vegetables
  • canned meats
  • dried beans and rice
  • cereal
  • macaroni and cheese

 

“If we’ve got odd stuff that comes in, then we put that in there,” he said.

Extra items can include bread, pastries, fresh produce, frozen meat, milk and other items.

Said Daniel, “It depends on what we have; whatever we get in, that’s what goes out.”

Get involved

To find out more about giving groceries or to make an online monetary donation, visit www.cullmancaringforkids.com or www.facebook.com/CullmanCaringForKids/ or call 256-739-1111.

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W.C. Mann

craig@cullmantribune.com