POLLOCKSVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Governor Roy Cooper showcased local non-profits for their efforts in serving the community by awarding them the Governor’s Medallion Awards.

One medal recipient out of Jones County explained on Thursday what this recognition means to them. The Filling Station in Pollocksville first provided aid to the community when Hurricane Florence hit, and since then those efforts haven’t stopped.

“We switched out the flood mode and went right into COVID mode,” said James Bender, food pantry director at The Filling Station.

Bender said the need throughout the community has grown tremendously since they first started.

“We have seen a huge increase from say 600 families a month to 1000 families a month,” said Bender.

Geraldine Eubanks is the Volunteer Coordinator at The Filling Station. She said that being a part of the organization is an award in itself.

“If you’ve never had the opportunity to be a recipient, you don’t know how it feels,” said Eubanks. “My husband and I were flooded in 2018. And the filling station was very helpful to us. So I began volunteering here to repay them for what they had done for us.”

Both Bender and Eubanks agreed that having recognition for their hard work makes it all worth it.

“We’re just here to assist, to help you get a little bit of something that you didn’t have to maybe help out in your buying of gas or paying the light bill,” said Bender.

The Filling Station Executive Director, Mary Ann LeRay, wished all 22 recipients congratulations for their service throughout the state.