Montgomery #1 in Ala. AIDS & HIV Cases, Food Pantry Opens for Patients


By Heather VacLav

Montgomery County has the most HIV and AIDS cases in the state. But now, Montgomery area patients can turn to the first AIDS food panty of its kind in Alabama.

Sponsored by the Junior League of Montgomery, the food pantry is housed at the Medical Aids Outreach Center (MAO) and is designed to feed AIDS patients and their families at or below poverty level.

“They had been talking about doing a food pantry for a long time, but there's no seed money available through other organizations, so they came to us,” said Suzanne Davidson, President of the Junior League of Montgomery.

The Junior League donated $26,500 to build and stock the pantry, which has been open since September 12, but officially opened Thursday.

“When the patients come here, first they visit their physician and the other medical personal, then there's a nutritionist that looks at the recommended foods,” Davidson explained.

She says the nutritionist makes up a list of healthy foods, then the MAO shops for 90% of the pantry’s food at the Montgomery Area Food Bank.

So far, the pantry serves 200 patients, combined with their families, it totals between 600-700 people, but the Junior League expects that number to more than double by 2013.

Junior League members were also joined at the grand opening by Alabama First Lady Dianne Bentley. Mrs. Bentley said she was proud to be a part of the organization’s efforts to fight AIDS in Alabama.

Patients can stock up on food for their families once a month, but rest of the week they can pick up twice as much food to get all the fixings for Thanksgiving.




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