5 Things You Need to Know about North Carolina Food Banks

  1. NC Food Banks distributed over 300 million pounds of food in 2020.  That’s a HUGE amount of food. In fact, it’s about a 40% increase from the amount of food they distributed in 2019. 300 million pounds of food translates to roughly 250 million meals. These numbers are incredible and every time I read them I am just blown away.  Food banks have always filled a critical need but this past year, more people than ever found themselves needing help to feed their families.  
  2. The COVID-19 pandemic hit food banks hard. Demand for food increased almost immediately, the food supply chain hit major snags, and donations stopped coming in. Food purchases by the Food Banks increased from an average of about $82,000 per month to almost $1 million per month – a 12x increase PER Food Bank. Volunteers were sheltering at home which means food banks lost about 50% of their regular volunteer force. Partner agencies shut down. BUT, food banks DID NOT STOP feeding North Carolinians in need. They adapted and developed innovative ways to keep people fed. 
  3. NC food banks are incredibly innovative! Food trucks, learning gardens, farm to food bank, culinary apprentice programs, mobile food pantries, and pet feeding programs are just some of the ways food banks are innovating, adapting, and working to meet the needs of their communities. Find the food bank nearest you and see what they are doing! 
  4. NC food banks only receive $3 million in funding from the State.  This amounts to around $500,000 per year for each of the six regional North Carolina food banks –  not nearly enough, especially when you consider they spent $1 million a MONTH on food in 2020.  
  5. You can help! Find your local food bank and volunteer. Donations are always welcome. Speak up and let your legislator know that food banks need increased funding from the State. Food banks ensure those experiencing food insecurity have healthy, adequate, and consistent food access during this time of recovery.