A quarter-ton donation of potatoes was brought to the Cullman Food Bank this week.

In an effort to help feed hungry families in the county, Commissioner Stanley Yarbrough used $110 from the Hurricane Katrina Relief fund to buy 500 pounds of potatoes for the Cullman Food Bank Friday afternoon.

He said he plans to use the remaining $237 to buy groceries and canned goods for the food bank on Monday.

"We had some money left over [from the fund], and we just thought it would be great to make a donation back to the people of Cullman, especially around Christmas time," he said.

According to Javon Daniel, executive director of Cullman Caring for Kids, donations at the food bank slacked off recently when more charitable contributions were sent to the Gulf Coast relief effort and are just now coming back up to full circulation.

"These [potatoes] will certainly be well used. This is just an awesome thing to do," he said.

Daniel said that the potatoes would be separated into 10-pound bags and distributed to needy people as soon as possible.

He estimated that, on average, the food bank processes 650 families a month, 60 to 75 percent of which he said are elderly or homebound.

With just six or seven volunteers a week on average, Daniel made a call for more volunteers and more donations.

He said that on any given day they could move more than 2,500 pounds of food through the bank.

"There are people in crisis every day," he said.

Daniel said people interested in donating food should come by the office between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Monday through Friday at 402 Arnold Street.

The office is closed on Wednesdays and for lunch between the hours of 12 and 1 p.m. on all other days.

It will also be closed for inventory from Dec. 22 to Jan. 2, so Christmas donations must be made soon.

Yarbrough said the Katrina Fund raised $3,000 to $4,000, which paid to ship three, full tractor trailers of food and supplies to the Gulf Coast.

He said that the campaign was organized by himself, state Representative Jeremy Oden, R-Vinemont, and several local businesses and residents.

"People in Cullman have a heart for giving," Yarbrough said. "Me and the other volunteers, we were just the go-between person for those that wanted to give and those that were in need."

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