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For most children, the summer holidays at school last 90 days. That’s 90 days too long for the nearly 321,000 children in the Food Bank service area who rely on school meals. Fewer than 1 in 6 children have access to summer meal programs, meaning that many of these children and their families will be more concerned about where their next meal will be than fun summer vacation activities.

As we move into the summer months, Food Bank’s partner agencies are seeing an increase in demand, likely due to higher prices for essentials like gas and food. But together, with partners like NC Help Center, located in Henderson, we can provide children and their families with help and hope. The organization operates a food pantry that provides families with year-round meals, and Summer baby food program when school is out to help supplement kids and teens during the summer.

Help Center, Henderson, NC (photo courtesy of Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina)

Twanna President and Founder Joyner Jones sees the struggles of the families they serve throughout the year, including worries about food, where they will live, and why they don’t have the same clothes or shoes as the other kids at school. “In addition to providing food, we are also trying to figure out what other basic needs the family has,” Jones said. “And we can only do that with meals. They open up and feel safe.”

Jones says the thrill of children getting food in the summer is special. They see the anxiety fade from young faces and receive gratitude in the form of smiles, hugs, and pictures drawn as a token of gratitude. A recent visitor told Jones that they find hope when they visit NK Help Center.

“This is our goal, the best combination you can give someone is help and hope. If I give people help without hope, I have failed, and if I give them hope without help, I have failed. But when we put them together, we create something great for the whole family.”

Your support Food Bank’s Stop Summer Hunger Initiative can provide this combination to children who may face a hungry summer. Their goal is to raise enough food and funds to provide 10 million meals this summer, and thanks to you and our partners, we know this is achievable. Monthly donations June and July will coincide to double the effect of your gift.

Learn more about ways to support and protect children and families this summer from Press here.

About the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina: Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina is a non-profit organization that has been providing food to people at risk of starvation in 34 counties in central and eastern North Carolina for 40 years. Food Bank serves a network of over 900 partner agencies such as soup kitchens, food pantries, shelters and programs for children and adults through warehouses in Durham, Greenville, New Bern, Raleigh, Sandhills (Southern Pines) and Wilmington.

The food bank not only feeds the hungry; but also works for the benefit of public health. That’s why in 2016 Food Bank opened a department of public health and engagement. With two nutritionists on staff, Food Bank shares recipes, helpful tips and other resources for partner agencies and neighbors in need. The on-site training kitchen in Raleigh offers cooking demonstrations and nutrition education to highlight simple, quick and inexpensive recipes using healthy foods such as whole grains, fresh produce, low fat dairy and lean meats.

Healthy Video Recipes

The Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina has put together a series of helpful recipe videos you can watch. on YouTube.com HERE.

Monthly articles from Food Bank

The Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina regularly publishes articles on nutrition and health education so we know what to look for when we head to the grocery store and plan healthy meals. Below are some of the articles published recently on the WRAL Smart Shopper page.

Lentil Salad Recipe courtesy of Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Crolina
sweet potato
Portioned Vegetables from The Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina
Lemon Chicken Rice Soup Recipe (photo courtesy of Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina)
Fried vegetables (photo courtesy of Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina)
Tomato Sauce Recipe from the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina

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