The Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina is pleased to announce we have purchased our Sandhills Branch‘s current distribution center at 195 Sandy Avenue in Southern Pines! The purchase will support the goal of improving efficiency and strengthening community relationships and support in the Sandhills area. As facility owners the Food Bank can now make improvements to the building, such as increasing space for healthy, perishable foods. These improvements will help us as we strive to meet the 38% increase in need due to COVID-19.

Together with Alona Briley Sloan, the new Regional Council Chairperson of the Sandhills Branch, Director Michael Cotten will be looking to make improvements to the facility to increase capacity, including expanding our perishable capacity with floor to ceiling freezers and coolers. Currently, the Sandhills Branch serves a network of 80 local partner food pantries, shelters, soup kitchens, and other emergency providers that get their food from the facility. Ms. Sloan brings a wealth of community service and nonprofit experience to her role as Council Chairperson, including several years as the Adult Services Supervisor with the Moore County Department of Social Services.

“We are deeply committed to ending hunger in this community,” said Cotten. “The purchase of our facility and having someone as dedicated as Ms. Sloan lead our council are the next natural steps in our progression.”

The Food Bank just marked 40 years of operations and the Sandhills Branch was the first of the five branches to begin operation outside of the Triangle area. The Sandhills Branch services four counties: Lee, Moore, Richmond, and Scotland, where nearly 50,000 people are facing hunger. Last year, they distributed 5.6 million meals worth of food to friends and neighbors in need.