Jim and Linda Jones hadn't planned to work six or more days each week in sharing. During their careers in nursing, Jim and Linda cared for thousands of sick people around the world on several continents. Serving professionally daily at home, they used up to a month each year to share their talents in Honduras, Dominican Republic, Brazil, Thailand, Vietnam, Kenya and the United States.
Over the past twenty years they shared the name of Jesus and their skills in anesthesia and surgical nursing with many. As they went they saw a common thread in all the nations. Hunger is a nagging sore on the face of the earth. Food is controlled like money by the greedy rich of the world.
After helping to distribute food to so many in all those places, the Joneses began to see a need here in Alabama. In 2009, while on a family emergency to Children's Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio, the Joneses attended church on Sunday and heard a testimony by Tony Fairhead, director of Childhood Food in Ohio. After seeing and hearing how easy it is to share God's Word and feed the children, Jim and Linda made plans to share food in Talladega County.
In 2011 the first food distributions shared with 300 kids twice monthly in the Kellyton Area of Coosa County in the spring and summer. The means of sharing and fundraising began to seriously come together. Then in 2012, Alabama Childhood Food Solutions was established. A plan to share a backpack of food with the most food-insecure children in our schools has led to ACFS providing food to 1,300+ children each weekend in most of the Talladega, Coosa and eastern Shelby County Schools. School leaders regularly applaud the efforts of ACFS and share how better nutrition on the weekends helps the children who are receiving food.
At the end of 2014, over 30,000 bags of food had been shared in 34 schools, as well as 140,000 pounds of food to families by End Hunger Sylacauga.
A board of directors now oversees the finances and distributions of food, with the Joneses remaining as the primary laborers in retrieving the food and planning for its distribution. Over 450 volunteers rotate and share time in moving the food and getting it into the backpacks of hungry children discreetly to avoid embarrassment or stigma.
God has blessed and is blessing ACFS as the many use their hands and feet to do God's will. As God's helpers, Alabama Childhood Food Solutions not only shares food but also teaches our youth to be local missionaries by helping decrease the hunger epidemic in our area. Several local schools have gardening programs to help teach about where food comes from. ACFS assists in a local garden, "Sylacauga Grows", to teach, and share the foods with food-insecure families in the county in season.
In 2013, Alabama Childhood Food Solutions added a new division called "End Hunger Sylacauga," which feeds 350 plus families in the same service area with a box of nearly 40 pounds of food once each month. In the first quarter of 2012, ACFS began to serve 40 students each week, while developing a plan to move toward 2000 as funds become available. As 2015 began, the Joneses, with 700 volunteers, are serving nearly 1700 children each week.
In 2014 over 250,000 meals and snacks were provided. In 2015 our goal is 350,000 meals and snacks to kids. In 2016, Childhood Food shared 543,000 meals and snacks with children and gave over half a million pounds of food to food insecure families in Central Alabama.
At the end of 2014, over 30,000 bags of food had been shared in 34 schools, as well as 140,000 pounds of food to families by End Hunger Sylacauga." In 2017, 70,000 bags of food were shared to children in our area and 700,000 lbs of food was given to food insecure adults.
Neither Jim or Linda take any compensation for their leadership. [ACFS is a 501c3 IRS approved organization and a tax deductible charitable organization in the State of Alabama.] www.alabamachildhoodfood.com. 256-207-8048.