A New Food Bank Facility for Wilmington
Information for our Cape Fear Neighbors
The Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina at Wilmington is excited about our plans to move into a facility that offers the infrastructure and space to reach more of our neighbors facing food insecurity in the Cape Fear region. Our current Wilmington warehouse is too small to store and distribute the amount of food needed to meet our community’s growing and urgent need. But soon, through important partnerships and generous donations, the Food Bank will be ready for current and future demands brought on by natural disasters, the pandemic, and economic uncertainty.
Hopefully you received a postcard from us about our plans for a new facility. We hope this page will provide additional information and answers to some of your questions. If you have additional questions, please use the form at the bottom of this page to reach out to our Wilmington staff.
Frequently Asked Questions
The Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina is a nonprofit organization that has provided food for people at risk of hunger in 34 counties in central and eastern North Carolina for more than 35 years. We serve a network of more than 900 partner agencies such as soup kitchens, food pantries, shelters, and programs for children and adults through warehouses in Wilmington, Durham, Greenville, New Bern, Raleigh, and the Sandhills. Last year, the Food Bank distributed over 80 million pounds of food (over half of which was perishable) and non-food essentials through these agencies. Sadly, hunger remains a serious problem in central and eastern North Carolina. In these counties, nearly 600,000 people struggle to access nutritious and adequate amounts of food necessary for an active and healthy life. We hope you will explore our website if you are interested in learning more.
The new property was purchased in July, 2020. We expect to break ground in early 2021, depending on our fundraising campaign. The official grand opening will be sometime in 2022.
The Food Bank will operate regularly from 8:30 AM until 5 PM Monday thru Friday. We also have periodic evening and Saturday volunteer shifts.
Primary traffic in and out of the Food Bank at Wilmington will be from our volunteers and partner agencies, most of whom drive personal vehicles or small trucks; a few have trailers and some do have box trucks. We receive two large weekly deliveries from the Raleigh Branch and have three trucks of our own, but taken all together, we don’t anticipate truck traffic to interfere with our neighbors. That is to say, however, that we will be mindful of such impact.
At this time, the Food Bank partners with more than 100 local nonprofit organizations and churches who serve food directly to those in need. Among those in the immediate area surrounding the Food Bank at Wilmington are Good Shepherd Center, Vigilant Hope, Nourish NC, The Acts Movement, and Mt. Olive AME. Visit our Food Finder for address and operating hours of these partners and a complete list and map of places where someone can go to find food, and often many additional services as well.
The current facility is just 12,000 square feet. The new facility will be approximately 35,000 square feet, or 190% larger! This will accommodate:
- about 4,500 square feet of commercial cooler and freezer space for perishable fresh foods and high-quality proteins, such as meat and dairy items
- almost 20,000 square feet for dry food storage
- additional space for office personnel and volunteers
- more loading docks to ease partner agencies in loading and distribution of food
This expansion will allow the food bank to distribute an additional 3.5 million meals a year, which is a 47% increase over our current capacity.
In addition to distributing more food, long term plans include workforce development opportunities, health education, a community garden, a commercial kitchen for training, and through additional space for freezers and coolers, the ability to get more fresh food to our friends and neighbors.
Quite simply, the current Food Bank facility is out of space. The current location supplies food to New Hanover, Brunswick, Pender and Columbus counties. With this new building, the Food Bank will add Duplin County to its service area, and allow the Food Bank to operate additional programs to address hunger at its root causes.
More than 90,000 food insecure individuals, including working families, seniors on a fixed income, children and teens living at home or working their way through college, depend on the Food Bank at Wilmington for nutritious food daily – and even more so after major disasters.
Despite our best work, and increasing distribution during times of crisis, a meal gap still exists between the need in the greater Wilmington area and the flow of food we can maintain in our current facility.
The new facility will accommodate distribution of an additional 4.2 million pounds of food or 3.5 million meals annually, a 47% increase in overall distribution.
Volunteers are the heart and soul of the Food Bank’s mission. Every day, Food Bank volunteers are making a tangible contribution to our community. Volunteers are vital to ensuring nutritious food reaches our neighbors in need. We could never do this important work alone! If you are interested in volunteering, please visit the volunteer page of our website.
We wish we could invite you to the Food Bank, but right now with restrictions related to COVID-19, that is just not possible. Once things open up, we will host a time where you can come by the new site to learn more and ask any questions you have. In the meantime, please use the contact form below, to ask any questions you might have. You are also welcome to call our Branch Director, Beth Gaglione, at (910)251-1465 x2205.
Photos of volunteers taken before COVID-19.
If you are interested in learning more, please fill out our contact form below.