“Our thoughts go out to the many families affected by the recent storm. We are grateful that our warehouses in the affected areas are operational and we are making sure that our partner agencies can operate or return to full service as soon as possible to continue providing relief to those who are struggling” ~Peter Werbicki, President/CEO
Every day, The Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina responds to a crisis in its service area - hunger. The Food Bank serves as a conduit for accepting, sorting, packaging, storing, and distributing food and non-food essentials to more than 500,000 people at risk of hunger daily in its 34-county service area. As a first responder during times of a natural disaster, the Food Bank also reacts immediately to serve victims of tornadoes, hurricanes and floods throughout the southeast without disrupting regular food distribution in North Carolina.
Following the tornadoes hitting North Carolina on April 16, the Food Bank assessed its partner agencies (food pantries, rescue missions, soup kitchens, senior and child nutrition programs) in counties affected by the storm to determine how their distribution capabilities fared. The Food Bank has been in communication with the American Red Cross and North Carolina Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NCVOAD). The organization has reached out to assist sister food banks in Elizabeth City, which serves Bertie County and in Fayetteville, which serves a portion of the Sandhills along with the Food Bank branch there. As a result of the initial assessment, Food Bank agencies in Wake, Lee, and Greene counties were hardest hit. The organization is sending additional resources to the agencies affected by the powerful tornadoes on Saturday, April 16; have extended hours for these organizations to shop for additional items and is making special deliveries directly to agencies affected.
Wake County saw unprecedented devastation due to Saturday’s storm and many Wake County agencies served out of the Food Bank’s main warehouse on Tarheel Drive in Raleigh have a high anticipation of increased need and are already supporting large numbers of individuals and families who are without power. Some of the agencies themselves are without power but still operating and still distributing to those who need assistance, even taking to the streets, supporting a trailer park community by distributing flyers to families with information of additional hours of distribution today.
Lee County, one of the hardest hit areas in North Carolina by Saturday’s powerful storm, is served out of the Food Bank’s Sandhills Branch. With one of the agencies serving as a designated day shelter for kids as a result of the storm, additional food donations will help meet the increased demands on their services.
In the Food Bank’s Greenville Branch service area, one Greene County agency hit by the tornado also has an increased need for emergency food and non-food items.
During the week following the disaster, the Food Bank distributed more than 86,000 pounds of food to the relief effort. In April (2 weeks following the disaster), over 311,000 pounds of food was distributed. Great community support and donations from other areas of the country have allowed the Food Bank to provide the following for hard-hit agencies in Wake, Johnston, Lee, Harnett, Greene and Onslow counties:
Back to top
The Food Bank expects to see the need for emergency food to increase over the coming weeks as displaced families seek precious resources. Food & fund donations to the Food Bank will help provide emergency and increased assistance to Food Bank partner agencies.
The most needed items for disaster relief are:
If you have been affected by the tornadoes in central or eastern North Carolina and are in need of food assistance, search our directory to find a Food Bank agency near you.
For long-term assistance, visit the Food & Nutrition Services (Food Stamp) Program website for eligibility and application information.
The Food Bank has a long history of responding to natural disasters. With the devastation of the 2005 hurricane season, the Food Bank sent nine truckloads of relief food and essentials to help the victims of the hurricanes in the Gulf Coast, with the trucks going to: Baker and Alexandria, Louisiana; Tyler, Texas; and Jackson, Mississippi. The Food Bank distributed over 233,000 pounds of food.
As a public service, the Food Bank has produced a list of the top 10 things you should do to prepare for an emergency. Click here to request our "Be Prepared" checklist.
Did you donate during the disaster? Help us enhance our relief efforts during natural disasters by completing this short survey: Humanitarian Relief Effort Survey
Share this info by email with friends and family.