Martha’s Project purchases new building in Belhaven

Published 5:59 pm Tuesday, May 9, 2017

BELHAVEN — After 14 years, Martha’s Project has a new place to call home.

On April 27, the nonprofit organization closed on a building on U.S. Highway 264/West Main Street, near Pungo Christian Academy. Martha’s Project provides food for needy families and operates Martha’s Thrift Store, also located on West Main Street, to support the food distribution.

“The new building will allow Martha’s to expand its mission ‘to be a caring community of helping hand(s) reaching out to meet the physical and spiritual needs of all God’s people in our local area by demonstrating the love of Christ in tangible ways.’ Currently, 150-200 families receive monthly food boxes from the pantry,” Belhaven resident and realtor Diane Edwards wrote in a press release. Edwards represented the organization in the sale.

Martha’s Project is comprised solely of volunteers who help distribute food and work at the thrift store. It is also seeking volunteers to help with the building’s renovation.

Executive Director Mildred Bowman could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

The organization saved up money over the past 14 years, held fundraisers and applied for grants to cover the cost of purchasing a building, the release stated.

“The organization was able to stay under the closing cost budget despite the fact many of the required repairs were more than anticipated,” according to Edwards. “Martha’s needed space to accomplish these goals. It is truly a good example of how a small group of dedicated volunteers can do great things.”

Describing itself as “an ecumenical group of local churches and civic groups,” Martha’s Project hopes to continue growing to be able to serve as many families in need as possible.

In the Gospel of Luke, Martha is described as a host who was busy preparing food for Jesus upon his visit, while her sister Mary chose to sit at his feet instead and listen to his message.

Martha’s will hold its next food pickup on May 22. Cars with multiple families are invited to come at 8 a.m., followed by those with last names beginning with letters A-E at 9 a.m., F-K at 9:30 a.m., L-Q at 10 a.m. and R-Z at 10:15 a.m. Families must bring their food cards to pick up items.

For more information on how to help, call Mildred Bowman at 252-943-2124.