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Agency fights Fayetteville poverty through variety of programs

Posted July 15, 2015

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In 2012, Honica Brittman and her four kids left an abusive relationship.

"When I left, I left with nothing," she said. "We were starting from scratch."

Brittman had no job and no way to feed those four children. She lived off student loans for a while, but when that money ran out, she turned to Action Pathways Agency, a Fayetteville organization that helps people fight poverty.

There, she found a tiered approach. Relieving hunger is one of the group's first priorities.

"We provided emergency services for her," said Action Pathways Advancement Director Jodi Phelps. "We got food for her."

At the Second Harvest Food Bank warehouse in Fayetteville, about a million pounds of food is stored to meet that basic need, but it's not nearly enough to satisfy the demand.

"The food that comes in goes right back out," Phelps said. "We're looking at sourcing and distributing 11 million pounds each year."

After Brittman's children were fed, she stayed with Action Pathways to get a degree.

"We were able to get her back on her feet," Phelps said.

Brittman found a job and is working on a second degree, but the memories of her struggle to feed her family are still fresh in her mind.

"Just knowing you had to be the superhero for your kids is what kept you going," she said.

Action Pathways is among the innovators seeking solutions to the problem of hunger in North Carolina that will benefit from the second annual HungerFreeNC mediathon Thursday, July 16. Join WRAL-TV and Radio One Raleigh all day for information and inspiration.

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