My Brother's Keeper plans to feed 1,000

Photo by Pete Skiba

Photo by Pete Skiba

ALBANY, Ga. -- Organizers of a holiday food giveaway changed the date to Dec. 18 to avoid confusion during Albany State University's NCAA Division II football playoff game Saturday.

"We will give away meals for the Christmas holiday to the first 1,000 to sign up from 8 (a.m.) to 10 (a.m.) at the HPER gym on the Albany State University campus," said Victor Powell, a spokesman for Stand-Up Again Inc., sponsor of the My Brother's Keeper event.

"Due to ASU's football success, a playoff game was scheduled for Saturday. To avoid confusion of venues we switched the date, but the time and the location are the same."

The meals are food packages that people in need of assistance can take home to prepare for the holiday. The packages contain turkey, chicken or ham and vegetables to make a nourishing meal.

This year's plans call for the event to include music and a job fair. The first year of the event (2008), the group handed out 400 meal packages. Last year it gave away 600.

"Because of the economy, we have decided to hand out 1,000 meals," Powell said. "We have been hit hard in this area with poverty and homelessness."

An October 2009 Forbes magazine story listed the Albany metropolitan area as one of America's most impoverished cities.

According to Forbes, the area population was 158,415 with a per capita income of $21,359. The income of the bottom fifth of the Albany metropolitan statistical area's population was $8,350.

With a poverty line set at $22,050, more than 8 percent of the people in the area earn less than 50 percent of the poverty line, or less than $11,025.

"The bottom 20 percent earn, on average, $8,350 a year," the Forbes' story stated.