Food Bank needs help to end summer hunger

Published 10:54 pm Sunday, May 28, 2017

The Food Bank of the Albemarle launched its second-annual “End Summer Hunger: School’s Out. Hunger’s Not.” campaign on May 14.

The campaign will last until June 30. Summer has proved to be the hungriest time of the year for children, and the purpose of the campaign is to provide nutritious meals and snacks to children who may no longer have access to free and reduced lunches offered by schools.

According to the Food Bank of the Albemarle, 24.4 percent of children under 18 in Beaufort County face food insecurity, or do not know when or from where their next meal will come. Out of the 15 counties the Food Bank of the Albemarle serves, it distributes the highest amount of food to Beaufort County, Executive Director Liz Reasoner said.

“Over 1 million pounds of our efforts goes into Beaufort County,” Reasoner said.

The Food Bank partners with many different agencies in Beaufort County to serve the hungry, such as Eagle’s Wings, Christian Voice Ministries and Deeper Life Ministries. But for this particular campaign, it is hoping to recruit as many partners as possible to help stop summer hunger.

Last year, the campaign raised enough funds to provide over 108,000 meals to hungry children. This year, the Food Bank hopes to raise enough new funds to provide about 77,00 meals and snacks. But it needs help.

“The real issue is if there is a program that is working with children for summer feeding programs, we’d be happy to bridge that communication,” Reasoner said.

Food Bank of the Albemarle board member Randy Woodson said the main goal in Beaufort is spreading awareness and getting people engaged.

“We want to tell the story,” Woodson said. “To use a baseball reference, Beaufort County is on first base.”

But, there is no one-size-fits-all solution to reach the goals of the Food Bank. Reasoner explained it will take multiple actions to help end summer hunger.

“It takes summer feeding; it takes fixed pantries; it takes a lot of different resources,” Reasoner said.

The Food Bank hopes to give a progress report in the upcoming weeks.