Shortly after Hurricane Florence devastated much of the Food Bank’s service area, we realized a specific need in Jones County. The damage was particularly bad in the Trenton area and made it impossible for our local Partner Agency food pantries there to reopen after the storm. For the first time in the Food Bank’s nearly 40-year history, we began operating our own pantry in Trenton.
We were anticipating a long recovery period for the residents of this area and wanted to be sure food would not be a concern. At the time, our President & CEO Peter Werbicki said, “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.”
Unfortunately, less than two years after Florence, the COVID-19 pandemic began to impact the world. As a new crisis arrived, far too many people in Jones County were still waiting for home repairs and funds to replace their belongings. To help build resilience in the region, the Food Bank transitioned the Trenton Pantry to a new permanent space.
Thankfully this allows us to distribute more food and do it safely with a drive-through distribution each week, with the help of the Salvation Army of Onslow and Jones Counties. The new location is now providing nutritious food to an average of 300-350 families per week, for the long haul.