Country superstars, local nonprofits partner to benefit community

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Representatives from The Link of Cullman County, the Cullman County United Way and others pose for a photo Saturday, Aug. 6, 2022, at the Family Food Box Giveaway. (Sammy Confer for The Cullman Tribune) 

CULLMAN, Ala. – Saturday morning saw The Link of Cullman County, Greater Good Music and the United Way of Cullman County team up to donate food boxes and school supplies to families in need. Organizers said 540 boxes of food were given away, and more than 120 containers of school supplies picked up.  

The Family Food Box Giveaway is a partnership between The Link, Greater Good Music, country music superstars Jamey Johnson and Morgan Wallen and Warehouse Discount Groceries. The boxes holding the food were donated by WestRock. School supplies were collected by the United Way. 

Heather Eddy, case manager at The Link, talked about how the event came to be, with Johnson and Wallen performing at Cullman’s Rock the South music festival Friday and Saturday. 

“This event started last year. Greater Good Music reached out to us in order to do a community outreach project. They do this throughout the country with different artists at different festivals,” Eddy said. “It is phenomenal that we are able to partner with these artists to give back to our local community. I think it is a huge blessing and we are super grateful to be here and be a part of it.” 

She continued, “That’s probably one of my most favorite things that I’ve seen so far, having our partners all come together to pull this off and have such a big community outreach project for all of Cullman. Rock the South is huge for Cullman financially, but it’s also really great for our community outreach because the artists are able to donate the money and we’re able to get all of the food and get everything that we need to donate over 500 boxes of food. That’s probably one of the biggest food giveaways in Cullman County.” 

Started in 2020 at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Greater Good Music seeks to make an impact in the lives of the more than 40 million Americans facing hunger every day. The organization partners with nationally renowned musicians such as Johnson, Miranda Lambert and Martina McBride to supply food donations to food pantries throughout the country.  

Brittany Clements, who coordinates the Renew U program for The Link, praised the volunteers who give their time to the nonprofit and helped make Saturday possible. 

“Our volunteers are definitely our cornerstone at The Link. We could not function without them, and we have the most amazing, selfless volunteers. This has been such a great experience all around to see the great turnout and the number of people from our community, because The Link is for everyone in our community. We want to definitely show that we love all of our community no matter what their background is,” she said. “It has been a huge blessing because all of these events are publicized through our local businesses, so seeing people getting to come when they are in need of a place to go and having a safe and comfortable place where they won’t get judged is the most important part of what we do.” 

Clements also praised the positive impact Rock the South has on the community.  

“I think it’s amazing. When Rock the South first got started, it definitely started to pour back into our community after the devastating tornadoes (of 2011). Every year, it’s been great seeing the support from them,” she said. “Morgan Wallen and Jamey Johnson- it has been a blessing to see that, even though they have so many different things going on, they still care about the smaller communities and the smaller areas and can put back into that.” 

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