The other day I learned about the operations of the New Bern Branch of the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina.
Prior to the tour, I knew they collected food from community food drives. This is only one small aspect of their vast operation that serves Carteret, Craven, Jones, Onslow, and Pamlico Counties.
The New Bern Branch has a large Community Garden that is run by a volunteer force of Master Gardeners and other hard working individuals. I met Dewitt Sheffield, Sheila Weibert, John Krofchick, and Anne Ocorr. Community groups like the Boy and Girl Scout troops among others also volunteer. The garden harvests broccoli, cabbage, collards, onions, potatoes, sweet peas, turnips, and more. Last year, the garden yielded over 8,500 pounds of produce.
Inside the warehouse, I met coordinator, Brandon Randolph and volunteer Rick Tollmann. Brandon showed me the vast array of products from canned food, fresh produce, dry foods, diapers, cleaning supplies, frozen food, among other items.
Greenville/New Bern Development Officer, Mary Esther Baker, explained “the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina started in 1980 with a small warehouse in Cary. The Greenville Branch opened in September 1999, which was four months early due to disaster relief for Hurricane Floyd. The Food Bank Branch in New Bern opened in 2010. The Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina is a member of Feeding America”.
The Food Bank receives products from retailers, grocers, farmers, and privately through food drives sponsored by local community organizations.
Then the items are distributed to their partner agencies (Abundant Life Miracle Center, After School Arts Program, Area Day/Feed My Sheep Ministries, Coastal Women’s Shelter, Cornerstone Assembly of God, Ephesus SDA Church, Extended Hands, Good News Outreach Church, Havelock Cherry Point Ministerial Outreach, Living Bread Outreach Ministry, RHA Howell Care Centers Inc., Religious Community Services, Salvation Army, Spencer’s Place Group Home, STAFF House, and Vanceboro Group Home).
In 2009-2010, the Food Bank distributed 1,007,496 lbs of food to Craven County residents. They served 10,787 households and 23,687 individuals. Last year, they distributed over 600,000 pounds of products for disaster relief in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene while also continuing day to day operations of serving five counties.
You can make a difference and help Fight Hunger in Eastern North Carolina by:
Donating money. Every $1 donated equals $8 worth of food or four meals.
Donating food. Coordinate a food drive with your company, school, community group, and/or civic organization.
Donating your time. Volunteers are always needed for various positions.
Learn more about The Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina by visiting their website or calling them at 919-875-0707.
The New Bern Branch is located at 205 South Glenburnie Road, New Bern, NC 28560. They are open Tuesday – Thursday from 10am – 2pm. Phone: 252-514-2006.
Thank you, Mary Esther Baker for giving me the grand tour of your New Bern Branch!