Local News

Food For Thought: N.C. Food Bank Raising Awareness On National Hunger Day

Posted June 3, 2004 9:53 a.m. EDT

— Thousands of North Carolinians depend on the food donated to the

Food Bank of North Carolina

every day.

Thursday, on National Hunger Awareness Day, the Food Bank is inviting the community to learn just how important its work is.

According to the Food Bank, 60 percent of all families in the state need their help at one time or another.

"These are not malnourished people, not starving people. These may be families who have to skip a meal, don't know exactly where the next meal is coming from," said Hope Hancock, director of development.

Hancock says many of those at risk are children.

"This is a time when school is out, they fall through the safety net, they don't have it," Hancock said.

Donations are needed all year long. The Food Bank says many children are in homes of the working poor, a sector that has not seen a great impact from the rebounding economy.

"They still are struggling to make ends meet. They're making very tough decisions about whether to put gas in their car, get to work, have an air conditioner, have medicine for themselves and their children," Hancock said.

State Agriculture Commissioner Britt Cobb is also stepping in to raise awareness about hunger. Cobb and volunteers bagged 40,000 pounds of potatoes, straight from the farm, at the state Farmer's Market.

"When a farmer harvests their fields, there are certain things they don't harvest. There may be potatoes, fruit or vegetables maybe that's too small or that's not ready for prime time market. So there are organizations that will go out and collect that and use it to feed the hungry," Cobb said.

The Food Bank hosted an early morning breakfast and sent its trucks in a convoy around the beltline to draw attention to hunger.