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Foodbank.JPGOn Thursday, March 20, 2014, the Alabama Cooperative Extension System’s Urban Regional Extension Specialist Robert Spencer of the Urban Affairs and New Nontraditional Programs Unit, along with Charlie Meek and D. C. Thornton from the Northwest Alabama RC&D Council, and J. C. Holt from A+ Marketing, delivered 48 pounds of frozen and vacuum-sealed Alabama farm-raised goat and lamb meat to the Food Bank of North Alabama in Athens. The donation was made possible in part by the 2014 Northwest Alabama Lamb and Goat Marketing Study and Outreach grant project designed to promote the sampling of locally raised goat and lamb meat at specific venues to determine consumer preference and buying habits.

Essentially, meat is purchased from members of the Alabama Agricultural A+ Marketing Association (A+ Marketing), processed at Cox Butcher Shop, a United States Department of Agriculture inspection facility, and prepared and served by the Shoals Culinary Center at various venues in Northwest Alabama. However, a stipulation of the grant specifies that a portion of the lamb and goat meat, which included shoulder and shank roasts, must be donated to a deserving charity.

Funding for this project totaling approximately $6,100 was provided by the Northwest Alabama RC&D Council, the Alabama Farmers Federation’s Meat Goat and Sheep Commodity, the American Lamb Board, and an RC&D board member. The Food Bank of North Alabama provides assistance to more than 100,000 people in North Alabama through a network of approximately 200 agencies.

Lawrence Hollins of the Food Bank of North Alabama was on hand to assist in unloading the donated meat. Upon receiving the gift, Kathryn Strickland, executive director of the Food Bank of North Alabama stated, Thank you so much for making it possible. We are thrilled to be able to offer residents in need such a healthy food choice - locally raised protein!”

Contact Extension Specialist Robert Spencer at (256) 689-0274 to learn more about this project.

Photo: From left to right, Robert Spencer, Charlie Meek, D. C. Thornton, Lawrence Hollins, and J. C. Holt are pictured with North Alabama Food Bank truck.​


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