I hope this letter finds you and your family well. These last few months have been unlike any other, and now more than ever it is important to take care of ourselves and our loved ones.
The priority these past few months at the Food Bank has been flexibility. With millions of people being laid off and furloughed and schools closing for the remainder of the year, the need for food has skyrocketed. At the same time, volunteer groups had to shrink significantly, and the supply chain became extremely challenging.
There is unprecedented need in our community right now, and we are so thankful for all the support and work that has gone into ensuring the people we care for could receive it. There are people visiting the Food Bank and our partner agencies who have never had to worry about where their next meal would come from, and because of you we are able to help.
I am proud to say that the Food Bank’s response is also unprecedented: May was a record-breaking month for us, distributing 9.14 million pounds of food to our community. This is the largest single-month distribution the Food Bank has recorded in its 40-year history.
The trust you have in the Food Bank and the support you provide are incredibly overwhelming and we appreciate it more than words could ever say. This pandemic will impact our friends and neighbors for a long time to come and the Food Bank will be here for the long haul.
Thank you for everything you do to make our work possible,
From the Mouth of Troy Leshko, Food Bank Board Chair
As my time as board chair ends, I find myself reflecting on how important food banks are to our communities. They are at the forefront of creating awareness of food insecurity, critical to building solutions to end hunger, and community experts at nourishing those in need.
The Food Bank demonstrates this every day, especially in exceptional times like Hurricane Florence in 2018, where it supported communities throughout its service area with distribution of 15 million pounds of food and non-food essentials. More recently the COVID-19 pandemic increased demand overnight, which was met with support for our communities with 15 million pounds of food distributed since mid-March.
Something I have come to understand and appreciate as board chair is that providing to our community on so many fronts takes a healthy ecosystem. At the center of this are the dedicated staff who show up every day to make a difference, doing so quietly and seamlessly but with ferocious determination. They are supported by an army of volunteers that never stop showing up and getting things done. And then there are the partner agencies on the front lines and donors who provide the fuel to make an impact in our community, no matter the circumstances.
A sincere thank you to our incredible staff, volunteers, partners, and donors, who together work toward the goal that no one goes hungry in central and eastern North Carolina. I am truly grateful to have had the opportunity to learn and serve in my role as board chair. The Food Bank can continue to count on me as long as the community counts on them.