Each year we ask our community to help us provide millions of meals to neighbors in need, and each year you answer the call. 2017 was no exception. Fueled by your support, we worked efficiently and creatively all year long to provide the healthiest food possible to as many families, children, and seniors as possible.
1. Most pounds ever
Our organization distributed a personal-best 70 million pounds of food, including 25.7 million pounds of produce (up from 64 and 22 respectively in 2016).
2. Branch milestones
Two of our branches reached lifetime distribution milestones in 2017. The Wilmington Branch hit 75 million pounds over their lifetime and the Raleigh Branch surpassed 300 million pounds distributed over its lifetime.
3. Nutrition Education Manager
Our Community Health and Engagement Department hired Sara Clement, RDN, LD as our first Nutrition Education Manager. Sara provided healthy recipes, food samples, and cooking demonstrations to 2,281 people throughout our service area, using Mobile Kitchen Kits and our beautiful Allscripts Teaching Kitchen. Additionally, our new community space opened to community partners and fellow nonprofits to host over 80 events this year at no cost to them.
4. Volunteer power
Volunteers donated a record number of hours to the Food Bank in 2017, more than 253,000 in fact! This is up from 241,000 hours in 2016 – and doubles our staff capacity.
5. New garden
We used green space on our Raleigh Branch property to launch the Blue Cross Blue Shield of NC and BASF Community and Demonstration Garden! The goal is to serve 8-11 families through a CSA-style system and to use the gardens to educate the community about growing healthy food.
6. Hurricane relief
Food Bank CENC once again provided relief after strong hurricanes – but this time it was in response to Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. We served as a collection site, partnered for hurricane relief drives, and sent trucks and staff to Florida in the aftermath.
7. Feeding The Carolinas
As of December, all 10 food banks in North and South Carolina announced a new alliance called FEEDING THE CAROLINAS. The new partnership is guided by it’s mission to “engage, educate and unite to achieve food security for all in the Carolinas.”
Hunger does not take vacations and it does not discriminate. Hunger is never convenient, and few can be totally prepared when it rears its head. But with your help, the Food Bank can be there for them in 2018 and beyond.
There’s still time to help!
When we begin the new year, hunger will still be at our doorstep. Our work begins again to nourish the nearly 630,000 individuals and families living in food insecure households in our 34-county service area. Through the end of the year your gift goes twice as far, thanks to generous friends who are matching donations! Give today and help us reach the goal of 2.5 million meals before December 31!