Feeding the Valley prepares to feed locals in need

Published 10:00 am Thursday, May 14, 2020

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Feeding the Valley Food Bank has dates lined up to provide more than 30 pounds of food to Troup County residents with no questions asked.

Jimmy Pruitt, the LaGrange warehouse coordinator for Feeding the Valley Food Bank, said food banks are being inundated with food from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and federal agencies due to COVID-19. 

He said throughout the next 90 days, he is working with local government agencies to secure locations for drive-thru food drives.

On Tuesday, he went before the LaGrange City Council to inform them about their plans for the rest of the month. 

There will be four mobile pantries by the food bank throughout the end of the month. 

Pruitt said volunteers arrive at the sites at 8 a.m. and start giving away food at 10 a.m.

Starting on Thursday, May 21, the food bank will be at Franklin Forest Elementary in LaGrange. 

On Saturday, May 23, there will be a distribution at Long Cane Middle School. 

On Thursday, May 28, the pantry will set up at Callaway High School in Hogansville and on Saturday, May 30, the site will be Great Wolf Lodge in LaGrange. 

“It’s totally a drive-thru scenario,” Pruitt said. “We have volunteers who grab these allocations of food, and people, our citizens, drive up, open their truck or door, and the volunteers place the food inside.”

He said there’s no pre-registration or any paperwork when picking up food.

“It’s simply drive up, get the food placed in the vehicle, and they drive away,” he said. “This food is designed to help people meet their need for food and security during this time.”

With each distribution, the family receives about 25 to 30 pounds of dry goods, like canned vegetables, dried fruits and rice. Pruitt said families receive about five to six pounds of frozen meat and three to five pounds of fresh produce or dairy if available.

“It has proven to be a very effective means of getting food into people’s hands during this time. There is no cost to them,” Pruitt said.

The food bank is looking to host 10 to 12 distributions through the end of July, and several of the sites have been selected, Pruitt said. 

He did not reveal any sites beyond May 30.

He said the local law enforcement — Troup County Sheriff’s Office and the LaGrange Police Department — has agreed to provided traffic control and security for the events.

Pruitt said shortage of food isn’t a problem right now. Pruitt said Amazon Owner Jeff Bezos donated $100 million to food banks around the country, some of which went to Feeding the Valley.

 Additionally, Pruitt said major grocery stores like Publix, Walmart and Kroger are funneling food into the food bank.