A miraculous response

Published 12:30 am Thursday, August 23, 2012

Sally Love, executive director of Eagle’s Wings food pantry, was not sure what to expect when the nonprofit issued an emergency plea for food Sunday. What she got, in her own words, was “a miracle.”
The food pantry received enough donations to sustain operations through its next Albemarle Food Bank delivery next week.
The pantry’s miracle is a testament to this community, its generosity and its resourcefulness.
Love said churches appealed to congregations and collected donations that were delivered the following day.
Individual residents were generous. She was as grateful to those who were on tight budgets, but spared a few items from their cupboards, as she was to the families who made several trips and donated hundreds of pounds of food.
The community took care of its own, this week. We kept a worthy nonprofit open, and we served the county’s growing number of “food insecure.”
Allison Wills, food-resource coordinator for the Albemarle Food Bank, recently said 20 percent of Beaufort’s residents were not sure where their next meal would come from, in other words, were food insecure.
“The food pantries are mainly considered emergency services, so we’re going to get them to that next paycheck,” Wills said, “whether it’s waiting for their food stamps to arrive, their Social Security check to come by, whether it’s the end of the month or they just lost their job — whatever the situation may be.”
The number of food-pantry “emergencies” Monday increased to 122 families. Love said the pantry gets about 30 to 40 new families a month.
The pantry’s budget and donations it gets have not kept up with the demand. In fact, Eagle’s Wings representatives said federal food assistance had been cut 50 percent and the availability of food to purchase from the Albemarle Food Bank is down 50 percent.
If federal contributions are not going to meet our county’s demands, then we all must do it. Christmas has always been a season of giving, but hunger is not seasonal. We must start thinking of filling the Eagle’s Wings food pantry as often as we do our own. After all, Eagle’s Wings is ours, too.
Food and monetary donations may be dropped off at Eagle’s Wings, 923 W. Third St., Washington, Monday through Friday, from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.