Help needed for sweet potato drop Saturday

By Donna Thornton/News Editor

The Society of St. Andrew needs help to bag 40,000 pounds of sweet potatoes on Saturday (Dec. 7).

The society will bring a truck load of sweet potatoes and drop them at the Salvation Army, at 114 North 11th St. in Gadsden at 9 a.m. The potatoes will need to be bagged for distribution.

Society of St. Andrew’s Alabama Program Coordinator Mary Lynn Botts said the sweet potatoes are from Mississippi – produce that is too big, too small or deemed too ugly to be put into stores for sale.

“This is food that would be dumped out somewhere,” Botts said. The society’s tagline is “Gleaning the fields. Feeding the hungry.” It’s mission is to “rescue” food that would be discarded and get it to people who need it.

Salvation Army Major Glenn Riggs said the potatoes will be put into 10-pound bags for distribution.

He said he’s been in touch with every agency he could find operating a food bank or similar service and invited them to get potatoes.

“That sounds like a lot, doesn’t it,” Riggs said of the 40,000 pound delivery. He said one agency requesting potatoes asked for 2,000 pounds. He said he expects the Salvation Army will take 1,000 pounds.

“You’ve seen the movie ‘Forrest Gump,’ and the guy who talks about all the kinds of shrimp? We’re going to be like that with sweet potatoes.”

When all the agencies are served, Riggs said, there may be sweet potatoes left over to give to individuals how need them.

“We’re not going to send any back,” Riggs said. “We’ll keep giving them away until they are all gone.”

But first things first: Riggs said bagging the potatoes will be a large job, and lots of volunteers are needed.

“It is easy to participate,” Botts said. “Just bring your hands and a heart to feed the hungry in our area.”

Bagging will begin at 9 a.m. and continue until the last potato is bagged. 

This event is paid for and sponsored by the Community Food Bank of Central Alabama.


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