Every year, we come together to #StopSummerHunger. This is not a normal year. Because of COVID-19, summer hunger started early.
When school is out we know that families struggle to keep food on the table. Children and teens who are part of free and reduced-cost breakfast and lunch programs often no longer receive those meals. There are increased expenses for childcare when school is out, and the cost of utilities rise along with temperatures. Budgets for so many families are already stretched thin, and the stress of covering these additional costs is very real.
The COVID-19 pandemic and the economic crisis means more people than ever are facing hunger each day. Parents and caregivers have lost their jobs and healthcare. Schools have been closed, and in many cases unable to continue providing meals to children, since mid-March. Summer hunger started early this year.
Together we can help ease the burden on families and ensure growing children get the nourishment they need to grow, play, and learn. Our #StopSummerHunger goal this year is to raise 4.4 million meals.
What the Food Bank is doing:
In the Food Bank’s 34-county service area, just over 300,000 (1 in 5) children are eligible for free or reduced cost breakfast and lunch- and in some cases, those meals haven’t been available since mid-March. With our many partners, the Food Bank is working provide as many of those meals as possible to children and teens for as long as needed, and have opened more than 30 free meal sites since April.
In addition, we are distributing thousands of family-sized boxes, each containing 20 meals, to our partners operating pantries and soup kitchens, to school districts for children and families, and to seniors.
How you can help the Food Bank meet the increased need:
- Donate funds – Because of the strength of community relationships, the Food Bank can stretch the gift of a single dollar to provide 5 meals worth of food for a neighbor. And during the months of June and July, your donation is DOUBLED – meaning every dollar can provide 10 meals for the community.
- Involve your friends – Want to mobilize your neighborhood, church group, or family? Holding a Virtual Food Drive is a great way to help – while practicing social distancing. Visit foodbankcenc.org/vfd to get started!
- Donate time – If you are a healthy adult and want to volunteer, you can self-schedule a shift at foodbankcenc.org/volunteer. Current volunteer sessions are being kept much smaller than traditional volunteer groups to best accommodate social distancing. We are also limiting volunteering to ages 18-60 at this time, to best protect vulnerable populations.
- Donate food – We’re always in need of the types of shelf-stable items that you pick up for your own family: things like peanut butter, canned tuna fish and chicken, soup, pasta, and canned fruits and veggies.
Thank you to our #StopSummerHunger Sponsors!
#GivingTuesday Announces Day of Global Action for Giving and Unity in Response to COVID-19
To continue to help our most vulnerable neighbors, May 5th has been named #GivingTuesdayNow, a day of global unity. We invite you to join the movement, and make a donation to help us reach our 500,000 meal goal.
Across our service area the need for food has never been more apparent or urgent than during COVID-19. Thanks to your support so far:
- Seniors are continuing to receive monthly food boxes, without leaving home.
- Our Kids Summer Meals sites are up and running early, providing children with their missing school meals.
- Our network of partner agencies can remain open and keep food flowing to our communities that are in desperate need.
During this historic time of distance, let’s show the world we can still come together to help one another. Together, we are nourishing our neighbors.
As the weather heats up, many North Carolinians start planning vacations and days by the pool. But in the 34 counties the Food Bank serves, just over 300,000 (1 in 5) children are eligible for free or reduced cost breakfast and lunch at school, and rely on the free and reduced-cost meals at school to get them through the day. During the summer, school meals are no longer available. For them, summertime doesn’t mean a fun-filled vacation. For them, no school means no meals.
#StopSummerHunger is our annual initiative to raise awareness, funds, and food to feed these children and their families during this season of increased need. Join other New Bern-area hunger fighters as we kick off #StopSummerHunger 2020. We will be recognizing Partner Agencies who are feeding children as well as Sponsors who are supporting the #StopSummerHunger initiative.
Light breakfast foods and beverages will be served. Free parking available.
RSVP to George Young, Eastern Regional Director at gyoung@FoodBankCENC.org
In response to COVID-19, as a Food Bank we have made the decision to cancel this year’s Sort-A-Rama.
Right now we are asking companies if they can make a financial donation or host a virtual food drive. As much as traditional food drives are needed right now, we know it may not be possible to organize and facilitate. Remember that with financial donations we can push that dollar further, securing $10 worth of food for every dollar donated. We’re in close touch with the public-school systems in our area, who themselves are working on a plan to keep children fed. There are likely opportunities to support and collaborate on those efforts, and we’re working out those details. Please visit here for updated information.
Sort-A-Rama is a rewarding, large-scale volunteer service project filled with networking, team building, and excitement. Each year volunteers gather at the NC State Fairgrounds to raise awareness about the mission of the Food Bank to nourish people, build solutions, and empower communities while volunteering alongside other leading companies in the Triangle. Participation in Sort-A-Rama builds morale and pride and reinforces a company’s commitment to the community. Join us this year as we hope to make this our biggest year yet!
Thank you to our sponsors!
¡Una Dosis Diaria de Gracias! Agosto es Mes de Agradecimiento a Nuestras Agencias Colaboradas.
August is Partner Appreciation Month
The Food Bank’s Partner Services and Public Policy Department has designated August as Partner Appreciation Month. It is an opportunity for the Food Bank to recognize all the amazing work done by our partner agency network to nourish, build and empower their local communities. We have always considered our partners to be dedicated hunger-relief advocates, but during this time of the COVID-19 pandemic they have shown us truly what it means to be hunger heroes: dedicated, compassionate, and enduring.
To show how much we appreciate our partners, we have planned virtual activities for the month of August. These activities range from sharing Thank You Messages to offering small tokens of our appreciation. We know that just saying thank you will never be enough to encompass all of what our partners mean to the Food Bank, but we agree that it is where we should start.