EJI takes on food insecurity and hunger relief in Alabama


  • 17% of adults and 23% of children in Alabama struggle with food insecurity, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health.
  • EJI’s anti-hunger program will support local nonprofit organizations that focus on anti-hunger work by providing money and volunteers.
  • It also aims to provide direct support to 400 families for whom the generalized food distribution model of pantries doesn’t fit.
  • EJI initially committed $4 million to the first phase of operations; Stevenson said he hopes additional support will come, allowing them to double that commitment.

The Equal Justice Initiative, which for years has advocated for criminal justice reform and racial justice, is looking to alleviate food insecurity in Alabama through direct financial assistance to families.

Through the initiative, EJI will support hungry families in two ways: It will provide direct assistance to 400 needy families, and support local nonprofit organizations that focus on anti-hunger work by providing financial resources and additional volunteers.

EJI takes on food insecurity and hunger relief in Alabama

Bryan Stevenson, EJI’s founder and executive director, said he hopes to start helping food insecure families in October.

Stevenson spoke with the Montgomery Advertiser to answer questions about EJI’s hunger relief initiative. But first, some background about food insecurity in Alabama:

  • 17% of adults and 23% of children in Alabama struggle with food insecurity, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health.
  • Food insecurity is concentrated in Alabama’s Black Belt. The 12 counties with the highest rates of food insecure children are all part of the Black Belt, based on a Stacker report using data from Feeding America.
  • Some 37.8% of children in Greene County are food insecure, making it the most food insecure county in Alabama.
  • The USDA defines food insecurity as a lack of access by all people at all times to enough food for an active, healthy life.



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