Raleigh, N.C. — Hurricane Irene, the deadly April tornadoes and the closing of a multi-million dollar national nonprofit have placed added strain on food banks in the Triangle, according to the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle, a Raleigh-based charity that stocks the pantries of disaster victims and other needy families.
"Together we're not doing enough. If one of us disappears, it cripples everyone else," said Jill Staton Bullard, executive director of the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle. "It's a huge issue."
The Food Shuttle, like many Triangle nonprofits, is also seeing an increased demand for food assistance and a reduction in the number of donations coming in.
"Our reserves have dwindled to nothing," Staton Bullard said. "We're so far down that we're at a critical shortage."
Angel Food Ministries provided discount groceries to Triangle families for more than 17 years. Last week, it closed its doors, citing the economic downturn.
Based out of Georgia, Angel Food Ministries once served more than 500,000 families in 45 states, including many in North Carolina.
David Mallory, senior pastor at Hillyer Memorial Christian Church in Raleigh, which utilized Angel Food Ministries, said its closing was devastating.
"The vast majority of families we served were families hovering right on the poverty line," Mallory said.
He, like other church leaders in the area, said he is shopping around for another food program to serve his congregation.