Local News

Raleigh event to offer free groceries, health screenings

Posted April 24, 2009
Updated April 27, 2009

— Triangle area businesses, churches and community organizations are teaming up to help the less fortunate during Raleigh's first annual Convoy of Hope.

The outreach event will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Seven Acres of Hope site, on the corner of New Bern Avenue and South Swain Street. As many as 6,000 people are expected to turn out.

More than 40,000 pounds of groceries will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. The event will also offer medical and dental screenings, a job fair, haircuts, children's activities and live entertainment.

Convoy of Hope Convoy of Hope

"They are two hefty bags full of groceries that we will give out per person,” said Cary Brege, who works with the group. "It's all free. We want people to know that."

In honor of the event, Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker has proclaimed Saturday to be Convoy of Hope Day.

"All guests at the outreach will be greeted with open arms and will be given nourishment for both their body and soul," said Pastor Sean Cordell, a coordinator of the event. "These people are our 'honored guests,' and we will do everything we can to make a difference in their lives."

Approximately 1,000 volunteers from 65 churches, local businesses and community organizations will take part in the event.

"We started planning this well over a year ago, and it just so happened the economy has taken the turn that it has," Brege said. "It really has been a group of churches across denominations wanting to bring this to the community."

Raleigh’s outreach event was spearheaded by Convoy of Hope - based in Springfield, Mo. – which mobilizes and trains churches and other groups to conduct community outreach programs, respond to disasters and direct other compassion initiatives.

The nonprofit aims high to give people hope in hard times.

"We're about helping the community, and I think it's going to be great," said Leon Perry, a manager in the Raleigh Employment Security Commission Office.

The Convoy of Hope event will also host a job fair. St least 15 employers have signed up to participate, Perry said.

"It's going to be networking, and they might find out something that they didn't dream that they would find out,” he said.

Perry urges people to RSVP for the job fair.

The City of Raleigh and CAT will be offering free bus rides to event-goers that have a flier. (Print the flier.)

"There's not going to be any ID required," Brege said. "There are actually two bus routes that will drop you at this site, and the fliers we've been distributing in the community will serve as free bus fare on Saturday."

For questions or more information, call 919-610-3386 or visit the Convoy of Hope Web site.

10 Comments

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  • colliedave Apr 24, 2009

    Granted you have to pay a minimal fee for the food boxes, but we have never had a problem with a "free-for-all". Stop looking for something to go wrong and just look for the goodness that the community is trying to do. Just a thought.

    I volunteered for some time at a local pantry and from time to time people got into arguements when they didn't get what they believed they deserved. (The fact is one doesn't deserve one's next breath as it is a gift from God,)

    They also had cutoffs eacg day so no one would wait and get nothing. Given the tight times and the fact that man is by nature selfish, opening the outreach to everyone w/o a screening process is asking for trouble. The Good Book also states that if a man is unwilling to work, he shouldn't expect a free meal.

  • diwanicki Apr 24, 2009

    Yes, it is wonderful that they are helping. I too had the same thought, hope that doesn't happen though.

  • daisymom Apr 24, 2009

    I think the Angel Food Ministry is great. Really and I admire your effort to do something nice. I just think its a shame that some people are selfish. I didn't mean to upset anyone.

  • G-Ovlov Apr 24, 2009

    Shame on all of you. Here the community is trying to do something nice for everyone, and all you can do is put it down. I am involved in the Angel Food Ministry through my church and we have food distribution each and every month for the past year. Granted you have to pay a minimal fee for the food boxes, but we have never had a problem with a "free-for-all". Stop looking for something to go wrong and just look for the goodness that the community is trying to do. Just a thought.

  • pinklady-1 Apr 24, 2009

    crash...you're right...i heard some people at work talking about it during lunch...how they're going to be sure to get there early for the free groceries...

  • colliedave Apr 24, 2009

    And how much security will be needed to prevent a free-for-all?

  • daisymom Apr 24, 2009

    Sad but true crash628. I just hope the people who really need it get there first.

  • FoxtrotUniformCharlieKiloakaCALM Apr 24, 2009

    wonderful yes, but going to be abused. people that don't need the help are just going to show up and take things from the people that actually need it, that's what Americans do best.

  • garden Apr 24, 2009

    What a wonderful way to help one another!

  • valentine girl Apr 24, 2009

    What a wonderful way for the Community to work together. I am glad that the City of Raleigh and its citizens are the beneficiaries of these offerings. May the spirit and power of God shine on all the providers and participants.