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Food Bank demand goes up

Posted November 3, 2011

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— Officials with the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina said Thursday that demand is up 30 percent this year as more people lose jobs and need help.

"The demand is about as strained as it's ever been," Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina CEO Peter Werbicki said.

Werbicki said the organization saw a bump in donations this year due to disaster relief funds after tornadoes ripped through the state on April 16 and Hurricane Irene in August. But as quickly as the food comes in, it goes out to partner agencies, he said.

"We know that our partner agencies' pantries are bare, and they are trying to stretch the product as best they can," Werbicki said. "Probably folks are getting less in a household box than they were from a couple or three years ago. There's just so many new people."

The Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina distributes more than 3 million pounds of food each month to places like the Community of Hope Ministries in Garner.

Ezekiel Wilson picks up groceries for free twice a month at Community of Hope and said without them he would have to apply for food stamps or other assistance.

"I could be applying for assistance with the bills, but the food that I get from the food bank reduces the costs of purchasing food, so I am able to pay utilities on a monthly basis," he said.

Demand up at food banks Demand up at food banks

Hundreds like Wilson line up each month at Hope Ministries.

"Nobody wants to say, 'We need help.' We all want to stand on our own two feet, but it's awfully hard when your support goes away," Community of Hope volunteer Gail Hammrick said.

Support went away unexpectedly for Hammrick when her husband lost his job about a year ago. Now, she volunteers at the food bank from which she received food during that uncertain time.

The Community of Hope Ministries Food Bank, located at 601 Saint Mary's St., is open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11 a.m. to noon.

Officials with the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle in Raleigh said demand has also gone up for them, especially in Chatham, Nash and Edgecombe counties. They said donations have also slacked off. 


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  • flashsparks Nov 3, 2011

    How's all that Hope and Change working out for yall?

    And some of you are ignorant enough to put Obama 2012 stickers on your car. I guess you haven't had enough misery yet.

  • whyalltheproblems Nov 3, 2011

    really hope you are joking, monca.

  • Coretta Scott Thing Nov 3, 2011

    There is a great food bank in Raleigh called "with love from Jesus". I trade my jag for a friends old beat up Toyota and go there each week. Yeah, you have to sit through a 15 minute sermon ( I wear sunglasses) but after that it's a free grocery store. Food from Trader Joes, Harris Teeter, several local restaurants. Both of my freezers are filled to the top and now I just get extra to give to friends. Focaccia bread, fresh herbs, we roasted a whole salmon from there last week with fresh rosemary and fingerling potatoes and served it with some decent vintage champagne and it made a lovely dinner party for eight.