Feeding the Valley serves as a center for the receipt and distribution of donated food products. We collaborate with member partner agencies who receive the food from our warehouse and then distribute to families in need within their neighborhoods. Because of our large area of service these agencies area a vital outreach to families in need.
We pick-up and receive truckloads of food and grocery products that are donated by national and local retail donors. In addition area businesses, individuals, civic groups, schools and churches conduct food drives through-out the year to provide additional food for this program.
All food received by Feeding the Valley is sorted and inspected before being put on the warehouse floor for distribution.The Food Bank distributes on average of over 300,000 pounds of food on a monthly basis.
Kids Café is one of the nation’s largest charitable meal programs exclusively for children in need. The program provides evening meals in safe and nurturing environments for children in need.The meals are prepared by Serv-Safe Certified kitchen staff in the Food Bank’s commercial kitchen. The meals are then transported to nine locations throughout Columbus, GA and Phenix City, AL.
The Kids Café locations are located in areas that provide accessibility many times with-in walking distance of the children’s homes or schools. The program operated year-round and currently provides 80,000 meals on an annual basis.
History of Kids Café
Feeding the Valley opened its first Kids Café site on June 7, 1995. The Columbus Housing Authority provided an apartment for the program in the Booker T. Washington apartment complex area. Local residents volunteered to prepare and serve the meals. Later that year, the Phillips Temple CME church wanted to open a site at their church to meet the needs of the children living in the Frederick Douglas housing area in Phenix City, AL.
In 1996, a site was opened at the Peabody Apartment Complex. As the program grew, the need for a staff member to coordinate the delivery of food and the volunteers for each site became a priority. In March 1997, a Kids Café coordinator was hired. Open Door Community House allowed us to open a Kids Café in their center in March of 1999.
The Board of Directors made a bold decision in summer 2001 to begin a renovation project that included a full-line commercial kitchen for Kids Café. The kitchen was completed in December of 2001. March 2002 marked the first time that meals were prepared in the new Kids Café kitchen.
In August 2010, our current Kids Café Director was hired to further develop the Kids Café program in order to provide sources for nutritious food, nutrition education and enrichment activities.
For more information about Kids Café, contact Ken Corcoran (706-561-4755 ext 10 or email@example.com).
The Mobile Pantry program allows the Food Bank to provide direct distribution to needy families in locations where there is limited access to emergency food pantries. Each month, teams of volunteers hand-pack boxes of staple food items for delivery directly to needy families.
History of Mobile Pantry
In May 2001, the food bank was able to purchase its first 24 foot lift-gate truck through a grant from the Columbus Community Foundation and a generous private donor. This purchase enabled us to begin our Mobile Pantry program in July of that same year. In October of 2008, we received a Paul Newman refrigerated truck that allows us to deliver fresh produce and meats as well as canned goods.
In Fiscal Year 2009-2010 1,650,164 pounds of food was distributed through Mobile Pantry. An average of 6000 needy families receive food each month through the Mobile Pantry program.
For more information, contact David Shemwell (706-561-4755 ext 17