We’re now many months beyond Hurricane Florence making landfall in North Carolina, but our relief efforts and support of the communities devastated by the storm continue on a daily basis.

For the first time in the Food Bank’s nearly 40-year history, we have begun operating our own pantry, with phenomenal support from local partner Bryant’s Chapel AME Zion church, in Trenton, North Carolina – located in Jones County.

“One of the ways we can best serve people recovering from these storms is to meet them where they are – and in this case, it’s here in Jones County,” said Peter Werbicki, President/CEO of the Food Bank. “We don’t want to add to their burden or stress by necessitating a long drive or taking time off work to get that needed food.”

Jones County was hit incredibly hard by the storm. Many individuals lost their food, supplies, and in some cases, their homes. Our local network of Partner Agency pantries also suffered huge damage, and still have not been able to reopen. For this reason, to ensure that the people in Trenton were getting what they needed to restock and rebuild their lives, the Food Bank opened a disaster relief pantry right in the center of town.

“Right now, we’re serving about 250 to 300 families every week,” Hannah West, our Outreach Coordinator who covers Jones County, explained. “People are still reeling from the impact of this disaster, and I think that’s really reflected in the number of people we’re seeing come through every week.”

Our ability to continue supporting the cities and towns impacted by Florence and Michael is because of the generous community of donors and partners trusting and believing in our No One Goes Hungry mission. The Food Bank will be in Jones County for as long as people need us, and we will look for other areas to serve those recovering from storms in the way that best meets their needs.