The partial shutdown of the federal government is the longest in U.S. history. Here in central and eastern North Carolina, we are seeing the daily impact of the shutdown. Food Bank CENC and the Feeding America network are here for anyone who needs us – or anyone who wants to provide help. We will continue to share more information here as it is available.
Like all food banks, food from FBCENC is distributed to families and individuals via our network of local Partner Agency pantries. We have over 800 Partner Agencies across our 34-county service area. Many of our Partner Agencies are requesting additional food from our six Branches, to help meet the growing need in the community. Some of our partners are focusing directly on serving federal employees during the shutdown by operating on additional days. Anyone within our 34 counties who needs food assistance can enter their zip code at foodbankcenc.org/zipcode to find our local partner food pantries. Anyone outside our service area can find their local food bank at feedingamerica.org/foodbank.
The News & Observer has a great list of what help is available from banks and utilities (statewide), as well as some Triangle-area restaurants and businesses.
Even without the shutdown, more than 600,000 neighbors in our 34-county service area do not get to eat three meals per day. Food and fund donations are appreciated every day of the year. Right now, we are able to meet the increased need for food, from people dealing with not receiving paychecks and stretching their budgets. However the concern is growing daily as the lack of federal funds continues. We anticipate that the longer the federal lapse in funds last, the more people we will need to help get access to food. Together, we can continue to provide food and hope to our neighbors in their greatest time of need. The best ways to help are:
Additionally, many of our local Partner Agencies are experiencing an increase in clients needing food, so donating or volunteering directly with them is also a great way to help. You can find our Partner Agencies nearest you at foodbankcenc.org/zipcode.
What Food Bank CENC is doing
We are monitoring the situation closely and providing extra food to our network of local Partner Agency pantries. The Food Bank has also done a few direct distributions in communities with a high number of federal employees. We’re also getting the word out to people who receive federal nutrition benefits like SNAP and WIC that they’re receiving their funds for the month of February early (on January 20), and will need to stretch that money for the entire month. We will continue to share more information here and with news outlets as it is available.