A grant of $100,000 from the Greater Birmingham Foundation made it possible for the Food Bank to open its doors on December 1, 1982. At that time, service was provided to Jefferson, Shelby and Walker counties, today, the Community Food Bank of Central Alabama serves twelve counties. The Food Bank operates as a central clearinghouse for collecting food that might otherwise be wasted. The Food Bank solicits and receives both new and commercially excess but fully edible food from many food industry sources such as manufacturers, distributors, warehouse and storage operations, grocery chains and individual donors. The Food Bank is also a member of Feeding America, a nationwide network of food banks, which solicits food in vast amounts and divides these goods among more than 200 food banks in the United States. This food is distributed to non-profit agencies and religious organizations that directly serve the needy through their own programs. These programs include shelters for the homeless, soup kitchens, residential facilities for the elderly and people with disabilities and shelters for abused women and children.