Eagle’s Wings faces 10,000-pound food shortage

Published 7:55 pm Thursday, August 30, 2018

Every month, approximately 450 families in Beaufort County rely on Eagle’s Wings Food Pantry for a portion of their daily bread. From 2017 to 2018, more than 3,000 individuals used the pantry’s services, and 140 local school children take home backpacks full of food every weekend due to the efforts of the nonprofit Christian ministry.

With the end of summer approaching, Eagle’s Wings Executive Director Ann-Marie Montague says the food supply at the nonprofit is more than 10,000 pounds short of where it normally is this time of year.

“The Post Office did not do their usual food drive for us at the beginning of May, so we didn’t get 10,000 pounds of food,” Montague said. “That usually helps us get through the summer, because the summer is the lowest point for both food and monetary donations.”

LOW STOCK: Typically full with pallets of food, the warehouse at Eagle’s Wings is uncharacteristically barren, and donations of food are much needed. (Matt Debnam/Daily News)

Adding to the difficulties of losing a normally-bountiful food drive, Montague says that a shortage of food at the regional Food Bank of the Albemarle has made acquiring affordable food even more challenging this season.

“I can’t do my 19-cent-per-pound purchasing through the food bank, so that puts a real dent in our budget allowed for purchasing food items,” Montague said. “That’s why we’ve put out the request to different churches.”

Items especially needed at the pantry include:

  • Dried beans
  • Low-sugar breakfast cereals
  • Plain oatmeal
  • Canned vegetables (other than green beans, peas and corn)
  • Canned fruit (preferably not packed in heavy syrup)
  • Canned soup
  • One-pound packages of brown rice
  • Sugar-free gelatin and pudding

“Those are the main items that we really need,” Montague said.

Now in its 29th year, Eagle’s Wings holds distributions at its Washington location from 9 to 11:30 a.m. and from 2 to 5 p.m. every Tuesday, with the exception of the fifth Tuesday of the month. The group has recently started a satellite distribution in the Edward community three Thursdays per month. Working families can also participate in a distribution from 9 to 11 a.m. on the first Saturday of the month.

In addition to regular distributions, Eagle’s Wings provides emergency food boxes for families and works with organizations such as Ruth’s House to provide supplies for families escaping domestic violence.

“Hunger is a daily occurrence,” Montague said. “No matter how much you eat today, you’ll wake up tomorrow hungry and asking what’s for breakfast … In this country, nobody should go to bed hungry.”

Donations of food and funds can be made most days at the pantry between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m., with the exception of distribution days on Tuesdays. Financial donations can also be sent by mail to P.O. Box 426, Washington, NC 27889.