Resources available for those in need
With grocery and retail stores struggling to keep up with public demand, a number of nonprofit organizations and churches are working to make sure no one goes hungry in Beaufort County.
THE SALVATION ARMY
In addition to serving as a daily feeding site in partnership with Beaufort County Schools, The Salvation Army of Washington is helping those in need in a variety of ways, including utility assistance and food boxes.
“All of the services we normal offer to the community — rent, utilities and food assistance — everything we do, we’re still doing it,” said The Salvation Army Lt. Karl Bush. “The delivery of those services looks a little different because of needing to keep social distancing. … We’re really anticipating a large increase in requests for help with rent and utilities, especially from those who are without a job.”
Bush went on to say that it wouldn’t be outside the realm of possibility to see requests for assistance jump by 50%. As such, The Salvation Army is seeking donations from those willing to give to assist with these efforts. Gifts can be made online at www.salvationarmycarolinas.org/washington or by calling 1-800-725-2769. Donations will directly assist The Salvation Army of Washington in providing its services.
Eagle’s Wings Food Pantry is continuing food distributions for those in need on a weekly basis at its Washington location under a modified distribution model.
The Washington location at 932 W. Third St. will be open Tuesdays from 9 to 11:30 a.m., then again from 2 to 4:30 p.m.
“Right now, there’s really no hang up,” Montague said. “As long as food supplies continue to come and our volunteers are able to be there, we’ll be there for people.”
With many people being temporarily laid off, the nonprofit is welcoming anyone who needs food. For first-time visitors, there is no income verification — one only needs a photo ID and proof that they live in Beaufort County.
“If they’re not getting paychecks, it’s awfully hard to buy groceries without money,” Montague said. “We’ll do our best to take care of the people we can take care of.”
Another major concern, both locally and on a larger scale, is ensuring seniors who are more susceptible to COVID-19 have enough to eat. Montegue said Eagle’s Wings is still delivering meal boxes to about 80 seniors who are homebound because of medical conditions.
“We are taking care of the seniors that we know about,” Montague said. “We’re encouraging those that are able to come to us. It’s minimal exposure, and it’s an express interview that takes 30 seconds.”
Remote distribution sites will also continue on the south side of the river on a regular schedule for the time being. Hours are 10 a.m. to noon but clients must arrive prior to 11:30 a.m. to be served. Services are provided at the following locations:
- First Thursday — Powell Park, 17501 N.C. Highway 33 East, Edward
- Second Thursday —Mallard Creek Apartments, 245 S. Fifth St., Aurora.
- Fourth Thursday — New Growth Unlimited Ministries, 1020 Peedtown Road, Aurora
- Donations to Eagle’s Wings can be made online at www.eagles-wings.org.
While switching over to a takeout model, Zion Shelter and Kitchen is continuing to serve hot meals from 11 to 11:30 a.m., Mondays through Fridays. For the men who seek shelter there every night, Zion is requiring screening at Agape Community Health Center to maintain a sanitary environment.
Zion Shelter Manager Jonathan Gaskins says the nonprofit is in need of donations to help maintain operations and has seen an uptick in women visiting in recent days. Donations of clothes, toiletries and money are welcome and appreciated. Checks can be dropped off at the shelter and made out to “Zion Shelter and Kitchen.”
BEAUFORT COUNTY SCHOOLS
For students in need, Beaufort County Schools is continuing to offer meals at seven sites locally from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Mondays through Fridays, while schools remain closed.
Over the course of last week, BCS Superintendent Matthew Cheesman says the school system sent home more than 13,000 meals to students. The number of daily meals jumped from 750 last Monday to 7,400 last Friday, a number that included meals for the weekend sent home through the Backpack Pals program.
Students are provided with a hot lunch and a shelf-stable breakfast at Northeast Elementary School, Eastern Elementary School, John Cotten Tayloe Elementary School, Chocowinity Primary School and SW Snowden Elementary School, the Belhaven Civic Center, The Salvation Army of Washington and the Washington Police Department Substation on Ninth Street.
Donations to support the Backpack Pals program can be made to The Washington-Beaufort County Chamber of Commerce, PO Box 665, Washington, NC 27889. Make checks payable to WBC Chamber Foundation (with Bright Futures – Nutrien match in the memo line).