Area woman works to start new food bank

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 28, 2005

DEMOPOLIS – Although she has been working on the same project for two years, Kesia Martin has yet to find a place to house a local community food bank.

Noticing a need among area residents who are not elderly, Martin made it her duty to create a food bank for younger, middle-class, working citizens.

“We really need this in the community,” Martin said. “There are food banks for elderly people and people who get disability checks, but sometime people who work need help too.”

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As a single parent with two boys, Martin said she knows how it is to need help and not have anyone to turn to. Thus, she wants to do anything in her will to help others now that she is back on her feet.

If Martin can have her way, she hopes to establish a numerous food banks in the region under the Selma Area Food Bank.

“I would like a few in Demopolis, probably two in Gallion and maybe two in Linden,” she said. “I’m just looking for churches with extra space and community centers who are willing to help.”

Currently Martin is working alone on the project as she has been for the past two years, but in that time, she has thoroughly researched every aspect of the endeavor.

“All the food will come from a warehouse,” she said. “I’ve been there before and there is food that people will actually want to buy.”

Martin said the food costs about 14-15 cents a pound and there are list of foods to choose from.

“We can buy lists and purchase food off the list,” she said. “They have canned foods like meat and beans, dry goods and dried milk.”

The New York native added that churches could choose one Sunday each month to collect about five dollars from its members. With just $200, Martin said, the food bank could purchase almost 1,000 pounds of food.

In order to be eligible to become a food bank, there must be room a refrigeration unit and plenty of shelving since no food can be stored on the floor. The area must also be clean and rodent and insect-free.

To help with the project, contact Martin at (334) 295-9625.

“When you help from your heart,” Martin said. “The Lord will send you blessings.”