Pastor Faye Coates and Earline Middleton

Pastor Faye Coates has served as the Executive Director of Restoring Hope Center in Laurinburg, North Carolina for 17 years. A long-time partner agency of the Food Bank, Restoring Hope strives to bring hope to those who are struggling by providing necessities including food and other essentials. In addition to their food pantry, they operate 16 Kids Summer Meals sites, including four mobile sites. But they also aim to improve the lives of all they serve through computer classes, referrals for GED courses, and financial literacy training. They also run several programs that directly benefit qualifying seniors and others in their community, including the Low-Income Energy Assistance Program, Temporary Emergency Food Assistance Program, and the Commodities Supplemental Food Program.

Their multiple services wrap a big hug of support around anyone who is struggling. And if anyone knows about struggles, it’s Faye.

“I grew up in a single-parent home just two streets over from Restoring Hope Center,” she said. “My precious mother worked faithfully at a job that, despite her best efforts, could not provide all we needed. Many nights I cried myself to sleep because I was hungry.”

Through it all, Faye promised herself that one day her situation would be different.

After finishing high school and Bible college, Faye worked in the ministry and then moved into managing grocery stores for a large chain. So not only did her childhood facing hunger and poverty inform her experience, but her previous professions taught her many transferable skills, allowing her to competently take on her role at Restoring Hope.

Faye has many reasons to continue her great work. Her childhood struggles are clear in her memory and it brings her joy to help others. There are also still too many in her community who, like young Faye, just want their lives to be different and need a little hope to help them get there.