Weaver Street Market supports community partners who share our vision of providing healthy food to those in need. Our Community Food Partners include local hunger-relief organizations—PORCH, TABLE, Orange Congregations in Mission (OCIM), Interfaith Council for Social Services (IFC), Meals on Wheels, and A Place at the Table—as well as Orange County Schools, all of whom work year round to provide healthy food for those in need in our communities—particularly children, low-income families, the elderly, and families in crisis.
The number of families at risk for food insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic continues to escalate. Our food partners are expanding the number of families served while adapting their program models to address safety issues for staff, volunteers, and clients.
Rounding Up to Reduce Hunger
Our Community Food Partners are the recipients of our Round Up program. Shoppers are offered the opportunity to “round up” their bill at the register or when shopping online, donating the round up change to the current campaign recipients. Recipients rotate throughout the year and differ by store. WSM leverages its buying power to help the organizations purchase the donated food at greatly reduced costs. All money donated is used to buy food at cost.
Since 2015, shoppers have donated over $1.25 million for food to feed the hungry.
WSM’s Community Food Partners:
A Place at the Table (APATT)
A Place at the Table, Raleigh’s pay-what-you-can café, is our exclusive community food partner for our Raleigh store through 2020. APATT provides provides healthy food and a community space for all—regardless of means. Those who cannot afford to pay can instead volunteer their time or use a meal token provided by community supporters. In 2019, APATT donated 12,559 meals (more than 26% of all meals served). Our campaign goal is to provide 12,500 meal tokens for those who cannot pay. Each $10 donated provides one meal token.
Inter-Faith Council (IFC)
Inter-Faith Council for Social Service is a non-denominational social service organization that provides basic services to combat poverty, hunger, and homelessness in Chapel Hill and Carrboro. IFC’s Food Pantry is one of the rotating recipients at our Carrboro and Southern Village stores. The pantry provides more than 1,500 bags of groceries every month to food-insecure individuals and families who live or work in Chapel Hill or Carrboro. Round Up funds provide weekly deliveries of fresh fruits and vegetables, Cabot butter and cheese, and local eggs.
Meals on Wheel Orange County (MOWOCNC)
Meals on Wheels Orange County, NC (MOWOCNC) is our newest Community Food Partner. MOWOCNC serves older adults living in Chapel Hill, Carrboro, and rural Orange County. Under COVID-19 pandemic conditions, weekday hot meals and check-in visits have been replaced with a weekly delivery of five frozen meals and a bag of fresh fruit as well as every other weekday check-in calls to ensure recipients are healthy, have eaten, and have access to other food beyond the Meals on Wheels delivery. Round Up funds at the Carrboro and Southern Village stores provide weekly bags of fresh nutritious fruit for MOWOCNC recipients. Clients are currently receiving apples, bananas, oranges, strawberries, and pears.
Orange Congregations in Mission (OCIM)
Orange Congregations in Mission is comprised of nearly 50 Orange County congregations that address the needs of low-income families in northern Orange County. OCIM’s Samaritan Relief Ministry provides food and financial assistance for families in crisis. In 2019 approximately 12,000 individuals were assisted. OCIM’s Meals on Wheels delivers a nutritious lunch five days a week to those who are home-bound and unable to prepare a nutritious meal for themselves. In 2018, volunteer drivers delivered 9,500 hot meals. Through the Hillsborough Round Up we provide weekly deliveries of fresh produce and dairy, and new this year, fresh fruit for the MOW clients.
Orange County Schools (OCS)
More than 43% of the 7,500 students in Orange County elementary schools live at a poverty level that qualifies them for the free and reduced lunch program. Weaver Street partners with OCS to provide bags of healthy, fresh foods for kids at risk for hunger over school breaks when they do not have access to school meals. In 2019, through the Round Up campaign at the Hillsborough store, we provided healthy non-perishable foods, fresh fruits and vegetables, milk, cheese, butter, eggs, and Weaver Street bread for 588 kids at seven schools. Staff, volunteers, and parents sort the food, bag bulk items such as beans and rice, and help connect the food with parents.
PORCH Chapel Hill-Carrboro
PORCH Chapel Hill-Carrboro became our first community partner when we launched our Community Food Partnership in 2015. The grassroots hunger-relief organization collects food and cash donations through monthly neighborhood food drives, then distributes the food to Chapel Hill and Carrboro families identified as food insecure. Our partnership with PORCH focuses on the 190 families in their Food for Families program. Each month these families receive over a week’s worth of fresh food (fruit, vegetables, chicken, eggs, and milk) and one bag of non-perishables. Round Up funds provide the fresh produce, dairy, and eggs at cost. Each $30 rounded up provides a 40-pound box of fresh food.
In 2018 PORCH Hillsborough, in partnership with Weaver Street Market, started its Food for Families program. The program provides monthly boxes of food for 35 families at Central Elementary and Efland Cheeks Global. School social workers identify food-insecure families to participate in the program. PORCH and Weaver Street partner to provide fresh vegetables, fruit, and diary. Round Up funds at the Hillsborough store will help the program expand into a third school, Hillsborough Elementary, and increase the number of families to as many as 70 families by early 2021.
Since 2015, TABLE and Weaver Street have partnered to provide fresh produce and healthy non-perishable food for TABLE’s summer meal program. Summer TABLE provides weekly nutritious food to food-insecure kids in preschool, elementary school, and middle school in Chapel Hill and Carrboro. For the last five summers, the Weaver Street Market community has donated funds through the Round Up to provide healthy food for all of TABLE’s summer backpack meals. With this community support, TABLE has been able to extend its summer program from 7 to 10 weeks and increase the number of kids from 350 to 525. With the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of kids is expected to reach 670 by the end of summer.
If you have suggestions about the food campaign, please contact Brenda at firstname.lastname@example.org.