Blazer Kitchen opens Monday to aid employees, students

Written by 

Blazer Kitchen, an on-campus food bank serving UAB employees and students, will officially open March 6 to provide fresh and non-perishable foods for students and employees who need assistance.

BFBK 4 copyBenevolent Fund Coordinator Meg Feltham stocks the pantry in the Blazer Kitchen before the grand opening.  The kitchen, sponsored by the UAB Benevolent Fund and located in UAB Medical Towers Suite 100, will hold an open house 8-10 a.m. Monday, and its first food distribution will be 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Regular hours of operation will be 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday and 3-6 p.m. Thursday.

Why would this be needed here?

“Employees, regardless of their incomes, can experience difficulties that make it more difficult to provide food for their families,” said Meg Feltham, Benevolent Fund coordinator. Feltham, who also works with employees who seek assistance through the UAB Employee Emergency Assistance Program, says medical bills, a spouse losing their job or other emergency expenses, such as a house fire or car accident, can force hard choices in struggling families.

“Great jobs doesn’t mean other things can’t be a drain on income and threaten food security,” Feltham said. “Providing some food can help free them to pay other bills when they have no other assistance.”

Getting help is fairly easy, although UAB employees and students will need to present a UAB ONE Card or VIVA Health Employee Badge. Anyone eligible for food assistance available through U.S. Department of Agriculture can download eligibility forms in English or Spanish and bring it with them. Employees who need help but do not meet USDA requirements for federal assistance should just come to the Blazer Kitchen during its regular hours, Feltham said.

Many options

Blazer Kitchen is partnering with the Community Food Bank of Central Alabama to access low cost food such as USDA food, food donated through grocery stores and food available only to food banks. Those include quality foods with lots of options, Feltham said.

Want to volunteer during your lunch break to help unpack and sort food? Email
Have a class or students who want to participate? Email
Give directly to the Blazer Kitchen (#680) with your Benevolent Fund Pledge.

Students also can also access free food, school supplies and toiletry items from the Student Advocacy, Rights, and Conduct's Food Pantry 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday in the Hill Student Center Room 303.

Blazer Kitchen is a collaboration among the Office of Service Learning and Undergraduate Research, The Community Food Bank of Central Alabama, UAB Office of the Vice President for Financial Affairs and Administration, UAB Medicine and UAB Student Advocacy, Rights and Conduct. 

Donations are accepted and encouraged, and drives for food and household items will be held throughout the year by student groups and on student move-out days.