web1_FeedingTheValley

Local food bank earns high marks

Staff report

In an undated photo provided by Feeding The Valley food bank, members pose for a photograph holding the American Institute of Baking International flag.
http://lagrangenews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/web1_FeedingTheValley.jpgIn an undated photo provided by Feeding The Valley food bank, members pose for a photograph holding the American Institute of Baking International flag. Submitted

LaGRANGE — Feeding the Valley food bank in LaGrange recently received a food safety certification from the American Institute of Baking International.

The food bank received a score of 935 out of a possible score of 1000, according to a press release from Feeding the Valley.

Feeding America, the national network of 200 food banks partnered with AIB to implement a member-wide food safety auditing program. Feeding the Valley is a member of the Feeding America network. Headquartered in Columbus, Feeding the Valley serves as a main centralized source of food to more than 260 local partner agencies in 14 counties, spanning 5,000 square miles and a population of 433,000.

In the last year, Feeding the Valley distributed more than 7.3 million pounds of food. The LaGrange facility opened in 2014 on Gordon Commercial Drive as a 24,000-square-foot satellite warehouse to better serve Feeding the Valley’s northern counties of Troup, Harris, Meriwether and Talbot.

In its first year of operation, more than one million pounds of food has been distributed to churches and non-profit organizations in these counties.

“Completing and passing this AIB inspection is considered the gold standard in food safety and validates our commitment to offer quality food handling practices, sanitary working conditions and food safety training to our team members,” said Feeding the Valley Executive Director Frank Sheppard. “This certification will allow Feeding the Valley to increase partnerships with national retail vendors and, ultimately distribute more food.”

Founded in 1919 and headquartered in Kansas, AIB has more than 900 members globally, which range from companies that specialize in international food ingredients and food service to smaller single-unit artisan retail bakeries. AIB provides food safety inspections, audits and certifications, food safety education and research and technical services.

For more information about Feeding the Valley food bank, find them on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter or visit their website at www.feedingthevalley.org

A press release from Feeding the Valley Food Bank contributed to this report.