Local News

Teen's food pantry combats hunger in Edgecombe County

Posted March 29, 2017 5:48 p.m. EDT

— Tens of thousands of North Carolinians struggle to find healthy meals every day. According to the North Carolina Department of Commerce, Edgecombe County is one of the most economically distressed counties in the state.

Knowing that many residents struggle with food insecurity, Courtney Dail, an 11th-grader, recognized the need to help her community of Macclesfield.

"People in my family have experienced food insecurity, so it kind of touched home," she said. "Then, when I started doing more research, I realized that Edgecombe County is a tier 1 county."

A tier 1 county is an official state ranking that means it is among the 40 most economically distressed counties in North Carolina.

Dail grew up in Edgecombe County and said she was excited about the idea to build a food pantry.

"I wanted to do something about it in my home town, so if I start in my own home town, then I can make a difference," she said.

Dail built a free food pantry where residents can pick up and drop off anything from canned foods to personal hygiene items to school supplies.

"Everyone is really excited," said Mayor Trey Lewis. "People are coming and using it and they are donating to it. It's incredible to see."

Dail said she now wants to look into adding additional pantries in Princeville and Tarboro.