As schools finally re-open this week, we’re working hard to make sure the millions of food insecure families affected by the winter storms can begin to recover from almost two weeks of lost meals. One way we do that is by supporting our partner agencies, providing as much food as possible to them so that they can begin to restock their shelves.

One of our partner agencies, Raleigh Rescue Mission, overcame many challenges to remain open and continue to serve local people in need. When the storms hit last week and the roads iced over, Raleigh Rescue Mission could not travel to the Food Bank to pick up their regular supply of food, including fresh produce and perishable items such as frozen meat. Similarly, our trucks were also unable to travel on the icy roads, preventing us from making any deliveries. And yet even with limited supplies Raleigh Rescue Mission took in as many people as they could, rearranging furniture to make room and bringing out extra sleeping mats.

Raleigh Rescue Mission staff keeps the shelter open 24 hours a day, and Merritt Jones, a staff member at the shelter, said they have many faithful employees on their team that brought their suitcases and stayed extra shifts, taking naps when able and covering as many duties as possible.

Finally on Monday morning Merritt breathed a sigh of relief. With the roads clear and better weather on the way, they could finally make plans to come to the Food Bank to pick up both non-perishable and perishable food to restock their shelves and return to being able to serve fresh, healthy produce again. “We’re looking forward to that,” said Merritt.

We have heard reports from partner agencies across central North Carolina echoing the experience of Raleigh Rescue Mission over the past two weeks, all ending with the same eagerness to help individuals and families get back on their feet. And yet still with heavy hearts we look forward to better weather, knowing that people living with food insecurity will continue to struggle to feed their families, pay their utility bills, and afford medical care. The harsh winter conditions may be gone, but hunger persists in neighborhoods across our service area. Yet at least now the paths are clear to help bring hunger relief and hope to the homes of so many in our region.