Local News

Hundreds line up for food from Wilson nonprofit

Posted May 26, 2010 5:00 p.m. EDT
Updated May 27, 2010 12:13 a.m. EDT

— 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.

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.