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Feeding the Valley gives out thousands of pounds of food

The LaGrange chapter of the Feeding the Valley Foundation emptied its truck Saturday morning with hundreds of pounds of food for those in need.

The LaGrange distribution center serves the counties of Troup, Harris, Meriwether and Talbot.

Feeding the Valley is one of eight regional food banks in Georgia and is a member of the Georgia Food Bank Association (GFBA).  It is also a member of the Feeding America network of food banks, which is the national network of food banks and our nation’s leading hunger relief organization.

Jimmy Pruitt with Feeding the Valley said their local warehouse has been flooded with food for distribution.

“What we are doing to get that food out to the public here in this time of the coronavirus epidemic, we have what we call a mobile food pantry,” Pruitt said. “That is where we go different places around and in the county and city. We will set up mobile pantries to service families and normally do about 500 at a time.”

Each distribution consists of a 25 to 30-pound box of frozen goods which includes canned goods, rice beans, vegetables and more. It also includes five pounds of frozen meat and five pounds of dairy.

“Sometimes they get a portion of bakery goods, and they always get three to five pounds of produce,” Pruitt said. “What we do is let families come through with two to three families to a vehicle. We put the food in their vehicle so they don’t have to touch anything, and there’s no paperwork involved. There’s no contact between us and them.”

So far, Feed the Valley LaGrange has completed 13 distributions since early May. Each distribution is about 13,000 pounds of food.

“This will get them through a few days of meals,” Pruitt said. “We’re not trying to completely meet people’s grocery budget but we are trying to supplement it.”

The mobile pantries will continue through the end of July.

“With everything that is going on to have a supplemental food drop is extremely important,” Pruitt said. “We have folks who come and if it wasn’t for this, they wouldn’t make it. Some people are check to check because a lot of people recently lost their jobs. That’s the emphasis of what Feeding America, Feeding the Valley is trying to do. Help people feed their families during a crisis.”

Pruitt said they are also seeing some families come pick up food for those who may be sick and quarantined and can’t get food themselves.

“We will be here rain or shine when we schedule these,” Pruitt said. “If anybody out there that is a civic organization or church group that wants to contact me about putting together a team to help with our mobile pantry, I’ll be glad to add them to our volunteer teams. We are going to be doing these and scheduling more as long as the food supplies keep coming.”