GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — The Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina serves 588,240 people facing hunger across the 34 counties it serves. In 2020, the food bank distributed 115 million meals to those in need.
This year, they distributed 8.4 million pounds of food, or 7 million meals, to those in need during the month of November alone.
The local branch in Greenville serves about 150,000 people who are considered food insecure. Since the pandemic, the food bank tells 9OYS they have a 38% increase in requests for food assistance across the state. Eastern Regional Director, George Young says, while 7 million meals is record breaking for the Food Bank, he says, it really puts into perspective just how many people are hungry in our communities.
“More and more people are moving towards our food lines asking for assistance through out network of food pantries. We have a lot of folks who are working part-time jobs but are really struggling with this inflationary cycle we are in. You’ll have a general turnover of folks all throughout the year based on what’s happening with the economy, but this economy is really making a lot of people struggle.”George Young, Eastern Regional Director for the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina
They are always in need of volunteers to help distribute food to the communities they serve. Volunteer Coordinator for the New Bern and Greenvile branch, Armelia Meadows says due to the pandemic, they’ve had to lower their volunteers from 40-50 per session, to 10-15 per session. For Meadows, volunteering hits home.
“I have been in a position where I did need help, I was a single mom of three children. Seeing the food we do everyday and being able to reach out and help someone in need it’s just my hearts desire, it touches home for me because I’ve also been that person who needed help so being able to give back is just an awesome feeling.”Armelia Meadows, Volunteer Coordinator for the New Bern and Greenville branch of the Food Bank of CENC
Young also said every dollar donated provides five whole meals, or $10 worth of food.