Carpenter’s Cabinet food pantry opens in Holly Pond – Cullman Times Online
HOLLY POND â Soon, needy households in rural eastern Cullman County in neighboring counties will have a source for free food.
On Thursday, local officials celebrated the opening of the Carpenterâs Cabinet food pantry which aims to provide food for 300 families this year. The occasion comes after years of work by the non-profit and town leaders to secure grant funding and use it to remodel a defunct business to house the food pantryâs second location.
For Carpenterâs Cabinet founder Chris Warwick, itâs the accomplishment of a promise he made to himself as a 12-year-old boy in Chicago â to help other children and families who donât have the means to buy groceries on a regular basis.
âIâm a twin. That night, my twin sister and I shared a can of green beans for dinner. Thatâs it. Thatâs all we had. And I made a promise to myself then, that if I ever became successful and had the financial means, this is what I wanted to do,â he said.
âThereâs no reason anyone in a 20-mile radius of us should go hungry.â
Carpenterâs Cabinet opened its first food pantry in Falkville in 2010, and after being inundated with families from eastern Cullman County, Warwick saw how large the issue of food insecurity is for the region. Many of these families, already struggling to get enough healthy food, couldnât afford to make the trek from communities like Holly Pond to Falkville to pick up food.
Eligible households receive a seven-day supply of food which is donated or obtained through the North Alabama Food Bank, and they can come back for food every 90 days. The food bank will be open 10 a.m.-2 p.m. every Thursday.Â To check eligibility, you must provideÂ he most recent pay stub for every working member in the household, a current utility bill or rent receipt and ID card.Â
Warwick said he hopes to work with local farmers to provide fresh produce.Â
In 2014, the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) awarded the Town of Holly Pond a $174,781 to set up the food bank. It took some time to renovate the foreclosed property at 60 Finley Circle, but Warwick and others, including longtime Holly Pond Mayor Herman Nail, were happy Thursday for its grand opening.
âThis is not just going to help the people of Holly Pond. Itâs going to help people in Hanceville, Blount County, a lot of folks who canât drive all the way to town. Itâs going to do a lot of good for our community and surrounding communities. Thatâs what it is all about. Helping your neighbors.â
Rep. Randall Shedd, R-Fairview, said he was encouraged by the food bankâs success in Falkville.Â
âI think itâs great that theyâre here now to serve people across a 20-mile area,â he said. âIâm also happy we could help get the town get the infrastructure grant to make the improvements to the building so they could open.â
The celebration featured music from Holly Pond Highâs marching band and fittingly and riders on horseback carrying the Alabama and American flags. Â
For more information about theÂ Carpenterâs Cabinet, find them on Facebook or go online toÂ www.foodbanknorthal.org.
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