The West Alabama Food Bank accepted a commitment of $50,000 from Bryant Bank as a part of their Imagine West Alabama fundraising campaign for their new facility in South Tuscaloosa. Bryant Bank representatives, Max Karh, Audrey O’Neal, Jill Slaton and Claude Edwards, presented the food bank board of directors with a check just before their monthly meeting.

The West Alabama Food Bank has served the community for 35 years with a mission to alleviate hunger and food insecurity in surrounding communities. The food bank currently supports more than 315,000 residents in nine counties in West Alabama. The West Alabama Food Bank staff have officially started the transition to the old Buffalo Rock warehouse facility, located just off highway 69 in Tuscaloosa. The nonprofit organization has operated from its previous facility in Northport since 2011. However, staff members say the food bank needs more space and has outgrown its 52,000-squarefoot warehouse.

Jean Rykaczewski, the CEO and executive director of the West Alabama Food Bank, says the new building provides more storage space for fresh produce and frozen foods. In addition to more storage, the new facility also houses a community demonstration space that will allow community members to attend classes on preparation and storage of fresh, seasonal

foods. The new building will also benefit the food bank by providing better parking, larger space for offices and production, as well as easier access for trucks and volunteers. “The West Alabama Food Bank serves as a cornerstone of service for our community. We are honored to support their mission and their goals of serving even more individuals with the move to this new facility,” says Claude Edwards, Bryant Bank president. “It is our hope that the food bank is able to expand their services and that other corporate sponsors will heed the call to invest in a cause that effects all corners of our community.”