ROBERSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Across the country, lives are being impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. In Eastern North Carolina, smaller communities seem to have been hit even harder.
Robersonville has seen many struggles, including a heightened need for food and personal protective equipment as COVID-19 cases continue to spike. Martin County has seen over 1,100 COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began.
“It’s just a need … it’s a great need here,” said Robersonville Mayor Tina Brown.
Brown has only been mayor for one year but has worked as executive director for Faith Community Outreach Food Pantry in Robersonville for over 10 years. During the pandemic, the pantry has seen a 35% increase in food needs.
“We pass out every week,” Brown said. “We have three locations, Robersonville, Hamilton and Oak City. We’re open three days a week here. Hamiltonville is open on Wednesdays. Oak City is open on Saturdays.”
The increase in need shows the damage that’s been done by the pandemic locally.
“Some are unfortunately unemployed,” Brown said. “Wages have been cut. Food stamps coming in food stamps cut for whatever reason.”
As efforts continue, Robersonville is hosting a PPE and food giveaway this weekend. During the drive, 16-ounce hand sanitizer, five-pack face masks and food boxes will be handed out. The food boxes will contain non-perishable items along with milk and meats.
The giveaway will be at 1 p.m. Saturday at East End Elementary in Robersonville.
“We don’t know who all out there is struggling but we know that there are people out there who have jobs cut wages cut,” Brown said. “So we just want to be a blessing to the community.”