FOUNTAIN, N.C. (WNCT) — From the outside, you wouldn’t be able to tell just how much care goes into the Care Trust Center. Shirley Mitchell is a big reason for that.

“Good seeing you,” Good seeing you, too,” said Mitchell to people passing by.

Care Trust Center is the home of Fountain’s food bank, started by Mitchell about eight years ago.

“I saw the need for the disparities with food with some of the citizens,” Mitchell said. “We get some citizens come from Wilson because Fountain is so close to Wilson and Edgecombe County, so we get citizens who come from those counties.

“Sometimes we may get someone from Faulkland. we don’t turn anyone away. If there’s a need and we have it, then we try to serve them.”

Mitchell and her team are like a well-oiled machine, packing up the boxes, loading them onto the cart and wheeling them out. Drivers pull up to the curb and volunteers load the boxes into the vehicles.

“Here in the community we’re like one big family,” Mitchell said. “If somebody says they need something or call me and say they need it, I try to find a source to help them get it.”

And help is what Mitchell does. Lillie Jackson has seen it firsthand her whole life as the two grew up together.

“She’s done a lot to impact the community, especially in bringing people together as one people,” Jackson said.

Mitchell started the food bank while serving as mayor of Fountain, all while working a full-time job and running multiple programs in the Care Center.

“I don’t do it to be noticed, I just do it to do it,” Mitchell said. “And that’s the reason I try to keep it going as long as we can.”

Mitchell stepped away from being mayor in 2020 after a fire left her without a home in Fountain. Despite that, she continues to serve her town.

Why? The answer is simple.

“The community, we’re all like one big family,” Mitchell said.