A vote for Eagle’s Wings

Published 9:06 pm Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Race to win $20,000 ends soon

Eagle’s Wings is holding its own in a nationwide bid to win $20,000 from Walmart, but the food pantry is relying on the community to keep voting until the April 30 deadline.

According to Director Sally Love, with five days left to vote, Eagle’s Wings is in the top third of vote getters of the 180 in the running for Walmart’s Fight Hunger Together campaign.

“Yesterday we were at 51 (percent) and if we’re in the top 60, we win the money,” Love said.

Love said anyone can vote once a day and it’s imperative to keep doing so because many Beaufort County children rely on the program that $20,000 will help support and expand: the Backpack Program.

“A third of the children in Beaufort County live in poverty and there are children who don’t have anything to eat on the weekend,” Love explained. “School lunch helps them eat during the week, but the Backpack Program helps them on the weekend.”

According to Love, each backpack is assigned a number corresponding to a child; Eagle’s Wings loads the backpacks up with two easy-to-fix meals; volunteers with Aurora United Methodist Church and Trinity Episcopal in Chocowinity pick the bags up, add snacks to them, then deliver them to Snowden Elementary and Chocowinity Primary School on Thursdays. Fridays, bus drivers match up the bags with the children and send them home in their hands.

Love said school personnel picks out the children most in need.

“For us, it’s anonymous. We don’t know who the children are,” Love said.

Winning $20,000 will help expand the program to greater numbers of eligible children and the entire community can help with that, Love said.

Voters are required to log into their Facebook account first, then enter Eagle’s Wings Food Pantry in the search window at the top of the page. On Eagle’s Wings Facebook page, follow this link: https://apps.facebook.com/walmartlocal/?applet=hunger. Once on the Walmart page, type Eagle’s Wings’ zip code (27889) in the search window and vote. At print, 310,037 votes had been submitted.

Love said Walmart has experienced some technical difficulties due to the high volume of voters, but the issue appears to be fixed.

“People have to be patient — if you get a spinning wheel, it hasn’t processed your vote,” Love said.

Walmart is giving away a total of $3 million to food banks and Love encouraged everyone to vote once a day to help Eagle’s Wings feed the children of Beaufort County. Voting will end at 11:59 p.m. on April 30.