Church receives grant to continue food donation

Asbury United Methodist Church (UMC) received a $2,000 grant from the Come to the Table program of the Rural Advancement Foundation International-USA. The program supports minority farmers in distributing food to the community. Funding is supplied by the Duke Endowment. 

With the grant, Asbury will purchase fresh produce from Kelton Moore, of Blounts Creek and donate it to Beaufort County Schools students and their families. This will be the church’s third summer providing fresh produce to the community through Come to the Table. The food will be delivered in CSA-style boxes, or Community Supported Agriculture.  

Pastor of Asbury UMC, Jim Reed, said donations will last for at least ten weeks. Boxes will be collected at and distributed from the Washington Harbor District Market in downtown Washington. The boxes are expected to arrive this week. The boxes, Reed said, are divided into groups of 25 per week; therefore, 50 families will get a box every other week. 

Asbury UMC is partnering with Moore, Beaufort County Schools, the HEAL program, Eagles Wings Food Pantry and the Washington Harbor District Alliance. 

Eagles Wings gave a small grant to Asbury UMC, Reed said. In addition Asbury UMC contributed an additional $1,000 to the ministry and they are using funds from a shared giving grant. With a shared giving grant, multiple organizations in a local area can use a total amount of money. Those organizations decide how much money each one receives. It works as a cooperative. 

“Since March of 2020 and in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Come to the Table has granted more than $100,000 to 105 churches and nonprofit organizations throughout North Carolina to purchase food from local vendors to be distributed to food insecure community members,” according to the Rural Advancement Foundation.