After Cullman Police Department Officer Zane Pounders organized a food drive, it was deemed successful. The second annual Cops For Cans food drive raised hundreds of pounds of food for the Link of Cullman County. When he was younger, Officer Pounders worked in a food ministry and saw the need for food drives outside of the typical holiday seasons. After much thought and prayer, Pounders knew in his heart that he wanted to give back to the community, and a food drive would be his calling. 

Last year, Pounders organized the inaugural Cops For Cans food drive during the middle of a global pandemic. However, the pandemic would not hold him back from serving the community. It may not have raised the largest amount of canned food, but it was undoubtedly a great starting point. Pounders knew this year had to be bigger and better with the hopes more people would get involved. It’s tough to do a food drive outside of the holiday season when people are in the giving spirit, but he is determined to make it work. 

This year’s recipient of the Cops For Cans food drive was the Link of Cullman County. Melissa Betts, director of the Link, said, “Officer Zane Pounders (pictured) here with Paige Williams, Lead Encourager of The Link of Cullman County, dropped off a car full of food on Monday. This is the second year Zane has felt led to host a food drive for a food pantry, the first being last year during COVID. Zane shared that his heart for helping people with food needs started as a teen when he served in a food ministry with his family. He was a football player in high school, and the team had Thursday afternoons off from practice. So, Zane found himself most Thursdays stopping by the food ministry to see how he could help out.  

Zane has had the opportunity, as an officer on the Cullman Police Force to see many people who are in need of food. He commented that food is just something people have to have, and it is something I can do to help. Zane organized multiple drop-off locations: Cullman Police Department, Cullman Daily, South Cullman Warehouse Discount Grocery, Cullman Times, Curt’s Closet, The Link of Cullman County, and Cullman EMS. We were thrilled when he pulled up with his Tahoe loaded down with all the food. It definitely came at a perfect time.”

The Link is a local non-profit organization that inspires people to dream, “That’s where The Link of Cullman County began: with a vision to inspire our Cullman County neighbors living in poverty to dream. We want to encourage the homeless, the struggling single-mom, the addict, and the under-educated that God has more for them.

In order to make dreams a reality, we knew it would be bigger than one person could ever do So we set out to begin connecting resources, people, and needs- community members, school leadership, church staffs, and other non-profits to create programs and services that not only came along-side those in poverty but did so in a way that built relationships. 

Over the last seven years, we have had the privilege to “be The Link.” The Link of Cullman County is a transformational ministry that loves people right where they are at, no matter what their circumstances, beliefs, or economic status.”

God calls us to be servants. He doesn’t say to only serve during particular months throughout the year. We are called to serve any time we have the opportunity. For example, suppose you would like to support Masters Hands Food Pantry located at the Link of Cullman County. In that case, they accept donations anytime during regular business hours or contact Paige Williams, and she can arrange a time to drop off any donations.