Initiatives & Events

Holiday Meals Match
Nov 1 – Dec 31 all-day

We all know the feeling of warmth, security, and belonging that comes from being around a meal with family. This year, we’re asking you to help us provide hope for the holidays. 

Tis the season. Fill 2x as many hungry tummies. Your gift now can be doubled! Give today

2020 has been especially devastating for many of our already vulnerable friends and neighbors. The 38% increase in need in our service area due to COVID-19 means now more than ever we want the families we support to have enough healthy and nutritious food this holiday season. Help us provide hope and ensure the families we serve have what they need to enjoy a warm, safe, and happy holiday season with their loved ones.

Visit to make a MATCHED donation and provide hope with a warm meal for 2x as many people in need this holiday season. 

Moved by the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, generous friends of the Food Bank have created the largest match pot in our 40 year history: $292,000! We need you to give what you are able, by December 31, so that we can reach the full match potential — providing balanced meals and hope to neighbors across our service area.

Thank you to our Holiday Meals Match Sponsors!

Other ways you can help the Food Bank meet the increased need:

  1. 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 to get started!
  2. Donate time – If you are a healthy adult and want to volunteer, you can self-schedule a shift at 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.
  3. 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.  Visit to get more information!
Vote to End Hunger
Nov 3 @ 6:30 am – 7:30 pm

During this time of crisis our neighbors need us more than ever. Millions of Americans have applied for unemployment and need help filling their fridges. If you agree that everyone one should be able to put nutritious and healthy food on the table, make a plan to vote in this year’s election. By voting, either in person or from home, you can help ensure no family has to choose between buying groceries or paying rent.

Vote to end HungerGet started today
Check your registration, make a plan, and help your friends vote! 

Sample Ballots are available now
Registered voters may enter their information into the Board of Election’s Voter Search tool to preview their 2020 ballot. Get informed today by looking up ballot issues and local races in your area, or browsing the nonpartisan 2020 NC Voter Guide.

Election Day is Tuesday, November 3
Early voting in NC runs October 15-31, and vote by mail has already begun in NC. For more information on how, where, and when you can vote, visit the voter information page on North Carolina State Board of Election’s website.

Beyond voting
The Food Bank operates from a public policy and advocacy platform that addresses federal, state, and municipal policies that impact hunger relief and support an environment where all North Carolinians thrive. Learn more about our public policy platform here

Week of Appreciation
Nov 16 – Nov 20 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

Share Your Christmas food & fund drive
Nov 30 – Dec 4 all-day

News Channel 12 Share Your Christmas food driveNews Channel 12 will be broadcasting live from Piggly Wiggly stores in the Food Bank’s eastern service area each day from Monday, November 30 – Friday, December 4, 2020 from 11am-7pm. News anchors, Food Bank staff, and volunteers will be at each site accepting donations for our friends and neighbors in the Greenville and New Bern Service area just in time for the holidays!

donate online

Locations & Schedule:

MONDAY, Nov 30  – Williamston #76 – 912 Washington St. Williamston, NC 27892

TUESDAY, Dec 1  – Wallace #86  – 209 N Norwood St, Wallace, NC 28466

WEDNESDAY, Dec 2 – Richlands #57 – 406 Richlands Hwy. Richlands, NC, 28574

WEDNESDAY, Dec 2 – Swansboro – 715 W Corbett Ave, Swansboro, NC 28584

THURSDAY, Dec 3 – Kinston #33 – 2240 Hwy 258 N. Kinston, NC, 28504

FRIDAY, Dec 4 – New Bern # 28 – 1208 Simmons St, New Bern, NC 28560

ABC 11 Together Food Drive
Dec 9 all-day

Helping Neighbors, Together

The ABC11 Together Food Drive, led by ABC 11 Eyewitness News, brings together hundreds of local businesses, schools, clubs and individuals to raise food and funds for our community.  This year, the need is even more staggering, because of the COVID-19 crisis: more than 750,000 people are facing hunger – a 38% increase over last year.  Help support the thousands of families in our region that need help putting food on the table.

This year because of COVID-19, ABC11 Together Food Drive will look a little different.  We encourage you to “Click or Pick” on Wednesday, December 9:

  • Visit any Food Lion location and PICK out a $5 Holiday Meals Box!
  • CLICK Online Here to donate

This year, we aim to provide 1,500,000 meals!

Tune in to ABC11 for special coverage on December 9th!
On social media? Use #ABC11Together and #NoOneGoesHungry


Shopping for a Cause
Jan 1 – Dec 31 all-day

Shop with our partners below to support the Food Bank!

  • Visit one of the Wegmans Food Markets below between 10/17-11/27 for their Check Out Hunger Campaign.  Customers can donate $1, $2, $3, $5, round up their bill, or give any amount at checkout with 100 percent of the proceeds going to  the Food  Bank.
  • The Greater Triangle Area CROP Hunger Walk will be held virtually on October 31st at 3pm and they are encouraging individuals and teams to walk in whatever way they feel most safe.  Click here to register, donate or start a team and support the Food Bank!
  • Highland Brewing Give Back with Gaelic campaign is back for the 2nd year, raising funds for us here at the Food Bank!  Now through the end of the year, customers looking to support the campaign can look for the updated Gaelic Ale packaging featuring a red “Give Back with Gaelic” banner. It is available at retailers across the Southeast. For more information, visit 


Want to add your give-back promotion to this page? Click here to view our Cause Marketing Guidelines and learn more about how your brand can support our Food Bank. Please email Tessa Johnson at with questions or to learn more.

Apply by 3/31: Kids Summer Meals Meal Vendors & Meal Sites Recruitment
Feb 25 – Mar 31 all-day
Apply by 3/31: Kids Summer Meals Meal Vendors & Meal Sites Recruitment

2021 Kids Summer Meals service runs June 14 — August 20

Kids Summer Meals, also known as the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), is a USDA federally funded resource which offers free nutritious meals to children 2-18 typically during summer months. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, USDA approved waivers to activate Summer Food Service Program outside of traditional program dates so children can have access to free meals even when schools close for holiday breaks. The Food Bank will offer support across its 34-county service area to new and returning sites for Kids Summer Meals sponsorship.

Recruiting Kids Meals Sites:
Youth center, apartment complex, or other community group? If you are an organization, or know of an organization, that would like to provide free meal service for children this summer, please submit a Kids Summer Meals Site Application to request meal sponsorship.

Recruiting Meal Vendors:
Caterer, restaurant, commercial kitchen, or meal provider? If you would like to learn more about paid partnership to provide meals this summer, email Mercedes Sanders at for more information.

Waivers for this year’s Kids Summer Meals service include:

  • Meals can be grab-and-go; it is not necessary for the children to eat on site.
  • Parents and guardians can pick up the meals for their children, without children needing to be present.
  • Sites and programs may be able to provide children and guardians with multiple meals during a single pick-up.

Contact Mercedes Sanders at

Legal Feeding Frenzy (month long)
Mar 1 – Mar 31 all-day

NC Legal Feeding Frenzy is an annual joint program of the NCBA Young Lawyers Division and Feeding the Carolinas food banks. It aims to fight hunger across North Carolina by uniting the legal community in support of local food banks.

For more information, and to register to support the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina, please visit!

Legal Feeding Frenzy

National Nutrition Month®
Mar 1 – Mar 31 all-day

National Nutrition Month® is an annual campaign created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. During the month of March, they invite everyone to focus on the importance of making informed food choices, developing sound eating and physical activity habits.

Here at the Food Bank, our Nutrition Education Team put together a National Nutrition Month® Healthy Food Drive Calendar. So grab an empty box, and each day add one healthy item to donate. There’s a theme each week, and a few healthy tips for you along the way! At the end of the month, drop off your donation box at your local Food Bank Branch.

🖨️ PDF version for printing  English | Español
💻 JPG version for social media  English | Español

March 2021 National Nutrition Month Calendar with suggested healthy food donations listed for each day


Spanish Language March 2021 National Nutrition Month Calendar with suggested healthy food donations listed for each day

Bytes for Bites (month long)
May 1 – May 31 all-day

Bytes for Bites Logo

Calling all Technology Companies, Organizations and Groups!

Over the past year, the ways we have used technology to connect with one another has exponentially grown, and while so much of our lives seem to have moved to a virtual platform, our basic household needs remain ever present. With the loss of jobs, income, and in-person schooling, there are 38% more individuals and families struggling to keep food on the table. For the month of May, technology companies and organizations across the Food Bank’s 34- county service area are invited to raise meals in a friendly competition to fight hunger for bragging rights, an exclusive volunteer opportunity and a trophy!

Think your company has what it takes to win? Here is what you need to know:

  • The competition runs from May 1st to May 31st, 2021.
  • It will be a virtual event hosted on our Just Giving peer-to-peer fundraising platform.
  • Registration begins April 1st, 2021. Sign up below!
  • After registering you will receive Microsoft Teams invite for orientation being held on April16, 2021.
  • After orientation you will create your own fundraising page with a unique URL to your own “virtual food drive” fundraising page. Share this link with coworkers, teammates, friends, family and even on social media! Every dollar donated can provide 5 meals for people facing food insecurity!
  • Want to hold a physical food drive as well? Visit our food and fund drive page for information on drop-off locations and collection boxes. You can also download donation signs and a list of our most-needed items. Every 1.2 pounds of food is equal to 1 meal for a neighbor in need.
  • Food donations must be dropped off at one of our branches by 4:00pm on Friday, May 28th to be counted in the competition.
  • Bytes for Bites will have two winners: most meals raised overall, and most meals raised per employee.
  • For more details or questions, please contact Michael Hooker, Community Donations Coordinator at

The Food Bank’s mission is to nourish people, build solutions, and empower communities. Thank you for believing in our mission, and our vision that no one goes hungry!

Bytes 4 Bites