By Shaun Szkolnik
For The Tribune
ARGO — Tucked inside the municipal building in Argo is a room with shelves stocked nearly floor-to-ceiling with canned goods, jars of peanut butter, oatmeal, grits, tuna fish, cereal, flour and an assortment of other essentials.
This is the Argo Community Food Bank, which has been meeting needs in Argo and St. Clair County for 10 years.
“We’ve been in operation since about 2008,” Food Bank Co-Chairman Jim Link said. “We service clients all over St. Clair County, not just in Argo. We give out food once a month, the third Saturday of every month. We try to give them, as you can see, canned goods. We have perishables, we give meat, we give bread, we have several things that we give.”
Keeping the shelves stocked requires the efforts of volunteers, like Link, as well as the public and churches.
“We receive donations from a lot of the churches in the area and individuals,” Link said. “Thanksgiving, we were able to give out turkeys to all our clients, and Christmastime, we will be giving hams to all our clients.”
Many donations come from businesses operating in the local area.
“Walmart donates food,” Link said. “Aldi donates food. Publix donates food. Margaret Elementary School just did a can drive for us and we collected 1,900 cans from them.”
If a person or family has need in St. Clair County, the Argo Community Food Bank stands ready to help with an efficient process to serve that need.
“They will call that (food bank) number and make an appointment,” Link said. “We have a criteria that we set up and, as long as you meet the requirements, they’ll call that number and we set up an appointment. We have a gentleman that does the appointments with them. We have (a) board meeting before the give out, and then they’re approved, and then they’re allowed to get food for three months, normally. If they’re on fixed income (or) retired, we do them for 12 months because we feel like their situation is not going to change.”
Those wanting to serve and those in need can get into contact with the Argo Community Food Bank by calling (205) 352-2120 or visiting their website.