Our Community Food Partners have very quickly responded to the COVID-19 threat and have reorganized their operations to provide hunger relief during the pandemic for a rapidly increasing population that is at risk for food insecurity.
PORCH Chapel Hill-Carrboro and PORCH Hillsborough. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, our food partners at PORCH provided monthly deliveries of fresh food to their Food for Families (FFF) clients—465 families in Chapel Hill-Carrboro and 50 in the relatively new program in Hillsborough. Restrictions due to the spread of the virus, made large-scale food sorts in small spaces unsafe. Instead of monthly boxes of fresh food and nonperishables, FFF clients are receiving gift cards purchased with cash donations to PORCH. PORCH is providing additional gift cards for the pantries and social agencies they serve.
The PORCH organizations have refocused their efforts, including their volunteer workers, to collaborate with the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina to provide weekly deliveries of fresh food and non-perishables to several hundred people in Orange County needing food.
Last week, 355 families/1538 individuals were served through the partnership between the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina, PORCH Chapel Hill-Carrboro and the Town of Chapel Hill, and 142 families/433 individuals were served through the partnership between Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina, PORCH Hillsborough, and the Town of Hillsborough.
“The need in our community is clearly growing, as we served MORE THAN DOUBLE the number of households this week compared to last. We are proud to be key players in the effort to provide food access to so many in our community during this time of crisis.”
—Debbie Horwitz, Director, PORCH Chapel Hill-Carrboro
Chapel Hill-Carrboro Meals on Wheels (CHCBMOW): Rachel Bearman, her staff, and team of volunteers have made a heroic effort to transform a program that offered hot meals five days a week for homebound seniors to a new model that provides a week’s worth of frozen meals plus fresh fruit and desserts. The organization is also assembling boxes of shelf-stable food to provide to seniors. Bearman notes that they are particularly challenged to find pop-top cans of stews, soups, and meats that are protein based as well as cereal bars and no-sugar fruit cups and applesauce.
In February a merger was approved by the boards of CHCBMOW and Orange County Rural Alliance (OCRA). The new organization—Meals on Wheels Orange County—will serve Chapel Hill, Carrboro, and Rural Orange County. Meals on Wheels Orange County is our newest community food partner and will be the recipient of the round program at our Carrboro and Southern Village stores after we reach our goal for PORCH—most likely the first of May.
TABLE: Before schools closed due to COVID-19, TABLE distributed weekend meals and snacks to 725 kids through the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools. In March, the organization distributed 25,200 meals and snacks. With the schools closed, TABLE’s executive director Ashton Tippins and her staff reorganized the school-based food distributions to home deliveries by TABLE volunteers. The logistics of locating the kids has been particularly challenging. Nonetheless, 500-600 kids received have received food every week since the schools closed. That number continues to grow each week and is expected to reach 620-650 kids in April, with more than 25,600 meals and snacks distributed. Access to non-perishable meal items continues to be a challenge, particularly rice, beans, pasta, macaroni and cheese, canned tuna, canned chicken, and soup.
Community Food Partners Count on Your Round Up Donations! For 2020, we made two changes to our Round Up program that we believed would better serve our community food partners. We set goals for each Round Up campaign based on conversations with the organizations about their current needs and their ability to expand their programs in 2020. Having set goals for the funds allows our food partners to plan their budget for year. For example, each year our Round Up campaign for TABLE covers the budget for Summer TABLE and the first months of the new school year.
We also linked each Round Up campaign to the stores located where the organizations focused their hunger-relief efforts. The chart below shows the goals we agreed upon and the store locations. The needs of our food partners have increased tremendously during the pandemic and are expected to remain high for a considerable time. We will revisit the goals for TABLE and OCS before we launch their campaigns.
Rounding Up on Rosie
Online shoppers, you can now “Round Up” your purchases on Rosie! The process is a little different—you add a Round Up token to your shopping cart. The token is $1. You can purchase multiple tokens by clicking on the + sign after you’ve added the token to your shopping cart.
Your donation goes to the hunger-relief organization currently benefiting from the Round Up program at the store you shopped.
For convenience, add the Round Up token to your “My List” selections.
Thank you for rounding up!