Portia Hackett, a cashier at our Carrboro store and a member of our Round Up! team, visited IFC’s food pantry this week. IFC is one of the current recipients of our Round Up! campaign, along with Hillsborough’s OCIM food pantry. Funds raised from the campaign buy the fresh foods that the pantries otherwise have difficulty getting for their clients. Portia shares her observations and everything she learned during her visit.
The experience I had at IFC was incredible because I was able to see the inside of how this local nonprofit works from a daily perspective.
The moment I stepped into the reception area, I could see a volunteer hard at work helping an older man with a walker to fill out the simple form of what items he needed. The man had trouble vocalizing that he could not write well and began to get frustrated. The volunteer told the man not to worry and just to make any kind of mark beside what he needed, or to let the volunteer know, and he would receive it. A softly murmured thank you was the reply from the man. After he finished helping the man fill out the form, the volunteer politely addressed me and called the staff member I had asked to see.
A door behind the reception area opened a few minutes later and the woman pictured was standing there. Meet Valeria, one of three staff members that worked at IFC that day. Her smile was vibrant and welcoming. Her face lit up when she talked about her job at IFC. She took me on a tour of the facility, and I met volunteers and staff members who were all pleasant to be around. The atmosphere was comfortable and cheerful.
One of the first things I noticed was a lack of central storage and a central place for refrigeration. This is a common obstacle with local nonprofits and one that IFC is currently working to improve. The facility was clean and well organized. Everywhere I turned there were people hard at work to help those in need get whatever they needed, and they all loved what they did.
After the tour, Valeria and I sat in her office and discussed how IFC works on a day-to-day basis. So here’s the breakdown:
- The process to apply to IFC is simple (see graphic).
- IFC depends on volunteers to function: to help sort food and other items, conduct client interviews, pick up donations, and run the receptionist area.
- IFC has three paid staff members a day and the rest are all volunteers.
- The items IFC receives come from private donors, local churches, and local businesses.
Want to know more about IFC? Check out the interesting facts to the right.
So if you know anyone who needs help they can visit IFC at 110 W. Main St. in Carrboro from Monday to Friday (the earlier the better) or call at (919) 929-6380. IFC is open from 9 AM to 5 PM, and sometimes until 7 PM on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
Want to donate directly to IFC? Here are some of their biggest need items:
- Canned meat/Spam
- Pork ‘n’ bean chili
- Vienna sausages
- Dry/Canned milk
- Pasta sauce
- Strawberry jelly
- Toiletries (full-size shampoo, conditioner, body wash, etc.)
- Anything warm (coats, jackets, blankets, scarves, gloves)
Also, if you want to help out and volunteer at IFC, they need volunteers Monday through Friday to help with the food pantry. Volunteers are asked to do three-hour shifts, preferably from 9 AM to noon. For more information visit http://www.ifcweb.org/services/food-pantry