The Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina was founded in 1980 as the Community Food Bank, the first food bank in the state. The Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina provided start-up funds prompted by its concern about an increasing problem of homelessness and hunger in Raleigh and its surrounding communities.
Since its founding, the Food Bank has expanded services in an attempt to keep pace with a growing demand for emergency food, distributing more than 236 million pounds of food in the process. In 1984, the Food Bank gained affiliation with Feeding America (formerly America's Second Harvest).
On three separate occasions, the Food Bank has outgrown warehouse space. In 1985, the organization distributed just under 1 million pounds of food to a network of nearly 100 agencies. In 1996, distribution rose to 6.5 million pounds of food to a family of 480 private, emergency feeding programs and sister food banks (1 million pounds of which was disaster relief in the wake of Hurricane Fran).
1999 brought Hurricane Floyd to eastern North Carolina, and with it, the Food Bank's largest distribution ever. The devastation caused by the flooding after Hurricane Floyd was identified as the worst ever in North Carolina's history. The Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina distributed 18.8 million pounds of food in fiscal year 1999-2000.
Today, the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina is a nonprofit organization that has provided food for people at risk of hunger in 34 counties in central and eastern North Carolina for more than 35 years. The Food Bank serves a network of more than 800 partner agencies such as soup kitchens, food pantries, shelters, and programs for children and adults through distribution centers in Durham, Greenville, New Bern, Raleigh, the Sandhills (Southern Pines), and Wilmington. In fiscal year 2014-2015, the Food Bank distributed more than 57.2 million pounds of food and non-food essentials through these agencies. Sadly, food insecurity remains a serious problem in central and eastern North Carolina. In these counties, more than 650,000 people struggle to access nutritious and adequate amounts of food necessary for an active and healthy life.
35 Years of Fighting Hunger