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Hundreds line up for food from Wilson nonprofit

Posted May 26, 2010
Updated May 27, 2010

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— More than 300 people were lined up before the Opportunities Industrialization Center of Wilson even opened its doors on Wednesday for its quarterly food giveaway.

“Standing in line for more than three hours to get a bag of food, it says that things are a little rough,” OIC of Wilson founder and chief executive Howard Jones said.

Wilson nonprofit holds quarterly food giveaway Wilson nonprofit holds quarterly food giveaway

The nonprofit has been providing services to those in need for nearly 40 years, but in the past year, Jones said the economy has brought in many new faces.

“The same people who were working a job doing well, they're in the line looking for help, and we just got to help them,” he said.

The OIC usually sees its biggest crowd at Thanksgiving, but Howard said more showed up to Wednesday’s giveaway.

“To be honest, I was a little surprised to see the number of people here today,” he said.

The giveaways also offer free health screenings. On Wednesday, more than 200 people were screened – a 10 percent increase from November.

“That goes to show you the economy hasn't changed, at least not in Wilson County, and there is definitely a need for improvement here,” OIC Wilson health services director Adrian Bailey said.

Nearly 2,000 families each received about 15 pounds of food, officials said.

“I think it’s good that they're giving away food to help people,” said Losunda Webb, who collected bags for elderly neighbors who were unable to attend.

By 11:30 a.m., the last bag of groceries was distributed, and some late arrivals left empty-handed.

“Even though we’re late getting here and we didn’t get any food today, we’re still so thankful,” Josephine Jones said.


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  • workingforthosethatwont May 31, 2010

    How about have the recipients of the free food bring letters from three employers that they have applied to within the last 30 days each time they recieve a bag of food.

  • estrauch May 27, 2010

    I think this is wonderful that organizations like this help people in need. However, I would like to know....how do you know when the family is REALLY in need versus when they are just taking advantage of FREE food? I assume it is one bag of food per person. But the story states there were those that were taking bags to elderly people who could not attend that day. How do they REALLY know the people that need the food the most are getting it???????? Just curious as to how that works.