(WKRG) — One in six people, including one in four children, are food insecure along the central Gulf Coast. That’s more than 350,000 people, more than the total population of Mobile. 101,250 of them are children.

Food insecurity matters. Rising gas and grocery costs impact all of us, but for people who are already struggling, their already tight budgets can get stretched to the breaking point.

As the cost of living rises, working families have to make tough choices at the grocery store. Higher costs make it harder to keep food on the table. Children are most vulnerable. Many children depend on food from school. When summer comes, they can lose access to those critical meals. Food insecurity becomes more acute when school is out for the summer. It doesn’t have to be this way.

WKRG News 5 is proud to partner with Feeding the Gulf Coast, a network of food pantries and community services that serves a 24-county area across southern Alabama, Mississippi and the Florida panhandle. Together, we can help struggling families and children get the food they need to thrive. We are focusing on food that kids can prepare for themselves, without the help of an adult, while they are home over the summer.

And we need your help.

Help Stock the Pantry: Drop-off locations

Join WKRG News 5, Feeding the Gulf Coast and our many partner organizations for Stock the Pantry. We are accepting food donations at locations across the Gulf Coast. Use our interactive map to find a drop-off location convenient to you:

Feeding the Gulf Coast: Who they are

Mission: Feeding the Gulf Coast works through member organizations and special programs to provide nutritious food to meet the challenge of feeding people who are hungry as a result of systemic poverty, personal crisis or disaster. We also educate the public regarding domestic hunger, proper nutrition and other related issues.

About: Feeding the Gulf Coast, formerly Bay Area Food Bank, serves a 24-county area spanning the Florida panhandle, south Alabama, and south Mississippi.

In 2021, the food bank distributed more than 27.5 million meals including supplies to over 400 community partners, including church pantries, soup kitchens, child nutrition sites and other nonprofit organizations throughout its service area. The food bank also operates multiple hunger-relief and nutrition programs, including Summer Meals, Afterschool Meal, Backpack, Disaster Relief, Mobile Pantry and Produce Drop Distributions and Nutrition Education. Feeding the Gulf Coast is a United Way member agency and a member of Feeding America.

For every dollar donated, 5 meals are generated for those in need.

Partners: Feeding the Gulf Coast partners with more than 400 agencies across the three states they serve. For a full list of partners, visit FeedingtheGulfCoast.org/find-help and use a Find A Pantry feature.

2021 Program Stats: Ensured more than 14,000 children had access to meals. Provided nearly 1,667,900 meals and snacks to children and 72,943 backpacks.

What to donate

All of your donations make a difference. To help, Feeding the Gulf Coast offers this list of kid-friendly donations.

  • Pop-top or Plastic Pull Top Lid Meals: Chef Boyardee’s, Beefaroni, or store brand of
    canned meats and pastas such as beef ravioli, macaroni, chicken alfredo, beef lasagna,
    and soups like Campbell’s and Progresso
  • Peanut butter
  • Fruit squeezes and apple sauces
  • Granola and cereal bars

You can also make financial contributions to Feeding the Gulf Coast. One dollar can provide five meals. $135 can sponsor a child through the Backpack Program for an entire school year.

It takes a village

Together, we can get nutritious food to children in need. Helping WKRG News 5 and Feeding the Gulf Coast are these proud sponsors:

  • Greer’s
  • Baldwin EMC
  • Wind Creek Casino & Hotel
  • Greene & Phillips
  • Palmers Toyota Superstore
  • Palmers Airport Hyundai

There are many ways you can help children across the Gulf Coast. Donate at one of the many drop-off locations on the map and listed below. You can also help by spreading the word. Share this link on Facebook. Tell a co-worker and a friend.

Drop-off locations:

Baldwin EMC:

  • 19600 AL Hwy 59, Summerdale, AL 36580
  • 47525 AL Hwy, Bay Minette, AL
  • 21801 University Lane (on the Beach Express), Orange Beach, AL 3656

Wind Creek Casino & Hotel Atmore:

  • 303 Poarch Rd. Atmore, AL 36502

Palmer’s:

  • Toyota: 470 Schillinger Road S, Mobile, Ala. 36695
  • Hyundai: 7680 Airport Blvd., Mobile, Ala. 36608

Greene and Phillips:

  • 51 North Florida Street, Mobile, Ala. 36607

Greer’s Markets:

  • 710 McMeans Ave Bay Minette, AL 36507
  • 83 Commerce St McIntosh, AL 36653
  • 400 Crawford St., Millry, AL 36558
  • 13298 N Wintzell Ave., Bayou La Batre, AL 36509
  • 4731 St Stephens Rd., Eight Mile, AL 36613
  • 75 Section St., Fairhope, AL 36532
  • 10120 Grand Bay-Wilmer Rd., Grand Bay, AL 36541
  • 126 N Jackson St., Grove Hill, AL 36451
  • 2980 Springhill Ave., Mobile, AL 36607
  • 851 Government St., Mobile, AL 36602
  • 670 S Broad St., Mobile, AL 36603
  • 4055 Cottage Hill Rd., Mobile, AL 36609
  • 3170 Dauphin St., Mobile, AL 36606
  • 1010 N Wilson Ave., Prichard, AL 36610
  • 21951-D, Highway 59, Robertsdale, AL 36567
  • 6250 McCrary Rd., Ext Semmes, AL 36575
  • 4051 Barrancas Ave., Pensacola, FL 32507
  • 12255 Lillian Hwy., Pensacola, FL 32506
  • 3873 Scott’s Plaza Dr., Jay, FL 32565
  • 10835 Dauphin Island Pkwy., Theodore, AL 36582
  • 7100 HWY 614, Hurley, MS 39555
  • 260 St. Louis Street, Mobile, AL 36602

WKRG

  • 220 W Garden Street, Pensacola, FL 32502
  • 555 Broadcast Drive, Mobile, AL 36606