November 16, 2020 – November 20, 2020 all-day

A WEEK OF APPRECIATIONThis year brought challenges we never could have predicted. The need in our area has risen to over 750,000 North Carolinians facing food insecurity, one third of whom are children. We distributed roughly 92 million pounds of food, safely hosted volunteers that gave over 215,000 hours of their time to support our work, and changed our operations to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic.  The 38% increase in need has been staggering, and we are continually thankful for supporters like you who make our work possible. 

This year the businesses and organizations that support us raised over 85 million meals to through food and funds to nourish families in North Carolina. Each year it’s important to recognize the dedication and investment these companies are making in the community and in our Food Bank. Check out this year’s CORE Leadership Circle – our largest donors giving both funds and food to support our vision that no one goes hungry.

Those numbers alone make it clear that we could not do what we do without your support. Thank you to everyone who supports the work we’re doing together to end hungerThanks to you, we can be here for the long haul for neighbors in need.  

On behalf of all of us at the Food Bank and those we serve – thank you. 






Reverend Lex Mathews came to the Tarheel state to serve as Chaplain to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1970. Five years later, he was named the Director of Christian Social Ministries at the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina. “Mr. Mathews will be linking needs with resources and people with interests,” read an announcement of this new role for Lex. In his first report as Director, Reverend Mathews challenged all parishes and missions to raise an amount equal to 10% of their budgets and use this to benefit low-income and food insecure people in their communities. Local committees formed under his leadership to fundraise and distribute money to support existing nonprofits or start programming when needed. After seeing a news story about the first food bank in Arizona, Lex began to explore the idea of starting one in the Triangle. Lex brought together a group of community leaders to do some research and help identify the Food Bank’s first Executive Director, Barbara Oates. He also secured initial funding from the Diocese, found a building, and signed the lease. Lex continued to serve as a mentor for Barbara, making connections with local leaders, assisting with fundraising, and eventually bringing the other North Carolina food banks together. Reverend Mathews was truly ahead of his time – he was working to nourish people, but was also addressing the root causes of poverty and hunger like affordable housing and child care, continuing education, and increased access to healthcare.





As a token of our appreciation, our Nutrition Education Team has created this delicious Harvest Salad recipe for you, complete with a recipe demonstration video!
Harvest Salad recipe card



We would like to extend a big thank you to our volunteer workforce for your continuous giving to the Food Bank, especially during these unprecedented times. As Hunger Heroes, you have supplied us with the extra boost needed in the fight to end hunger. Due to the impact of COVID-19, about 1-in-5 people and 1-in-3 children are living with food insecurity. Your support and hard work have helped the Food Bank distribute record-breaking pounds of food across our service area during the pandemic. We truly could not serve our communities without the support of our volunteers so thank you for all that you do! We hope to continue growing newer and stronger relationships with those interested in getting involved.

We also wanted to express our gratitude to those individuals who became regular volunteers during COVID-19 relief efforts. Durham: Kimberly McBride, Susan Finer, Kathy Kay, Rachel Cohn, Tasala Rufai, Christa Witherspoon. Greenville: Todd Sanford and Wanda Dixon. Raleigh: Bob Meadows, Shawn Janairo, Karl Kirkeby, Jess Ryu, Kathy Abode, Mike Paine, Kevin Pietras, Kathy Pietras, James Chang, Greg Cyr, Jennifer Delacey, Melanie Henderson, Tony Stiller, Jim Russell, Dwayne White, Dan Frizzell, Katharine DeVilbiss, Karen Nyreen, Susan Gates, Susan Brosnan, Krish Bhardwaj, Tammie Kuhn, Janine Doods, Steven Andrews, Jamie Hill, Jennings Wright, Kiran Saini, Kicab Castaneda-Mendez, Ellen Adelman, Joe Koon, Larry Robertson, Larry Robinson, Ken & Janet Slagle, David Bissette, Richard Carroll, Steve Andrew, Sheba Kanjelkheir, Bill Santa Rosa, Joe Erdelyi, Patti Gove, Paula Malzone, Jackie Braun, Mary, Warren, & Marie Cox, Mark Desrosiers, Vytautas Smetona, Virginia Cleary, Dianne Wanyama, Jeremy Lonnman, Meghan Flaherty, Mel Kilberg, Telly Dobbin, John Ricciardi, Bill Turnau, Sanjay Prasad, Claire Spackman, William & Andrew, Kristin Ewan, Sofia Acosta, Patrick Barry,  Walter Hunt, Cathy Wilfong, Janet Racketa, Sallie Whelan.

Elevation Church

A special thank you to Elevation Church – Raleigh! Elevation Church has been an integral partner of the Food Bank this year while supporting the Food Bank in various capacities. Elevation has graciously donated $40,000 throughout the course of the pandemic. Elevation’s phenomenal team of volunteers have also supported the Food Bank through sorting and packing 300,000 meals in the warehouse, delivering 11,000 pounds of food to doorsteps, partnering with the WAKE Cares Program to provide 450 family boxes and even working in our community garden space to set the groundwork for future crop harvests.



Across our service area, 38% more neighbors will need help with food this year due to COVID-19. Many of our local Partner Agencies, like Loaves & Fishes Ministries in Warren County, have told us they needed more food in order to serve more people. In response, the Food Bank is providing additional food and supplies to help close the extensive hunger gap, while Warren County is helping Loaves and Fishes is partnering with the County to temporarily move their pantry into a larger space with more refrigeration. Through community collaboration, Loaves and Fishes will be able to distribute not just more food, but more healthy perishable foods like produce, meats, and dairy. Thank you to all the generous donors for enabling the Food Bank to distribute a record amount of food to the community through our Partner Agency network!



In case you hadn’t heard, the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina has been named Food Bank of the Year by Feeding America! The ‘Member of the Year’ award is one of the highest honors awarded to food bank leaders. Feeding America, a national association of more than 200 food banks nationwide, chose our Food Bank for our local community-building, contributions to the Feeding America network, and innovative solutions in ending hunger. We are honored, humbled, and happy to receive this recognition. It will bolster us as we continue working to nourish neighbors and empower communities, even as the COVID-19 pandemic has increased food insecurity 38% in our service area. We are grateful to YOU for making this important work possible. This award belongs to you, too, for believing in our No One Goes Hungry vision!

Feeding America's Member Of The Year