Feeding the hungry

Published 9:20 am Thursday, September 22, 2011

WINDSOR – Bertie County continued its efforts to support feeding the hungry here Monday night.

During the regular meeting of the county’s Board of Commissioners, actions were taken to support not only the Albemarle Food Bank, but also the eight local food pantries in the county.

During the meeting, George Bright of the Albemarle Food Bank appeared before the board to ask them to proclaim September as Hunger Action Month.

“We serve 15 counties in eastern North Carolina and an area that is larger than Connecticut,” Bright said.

Bright said a nationwide survey revealed the service area of Eastern North Carolina was behind only the Bronx Borough of New York for need of food.  He also said that despite their efforts the Food Bank was reaching only about 33 percent of those who need them.

Bertie County ranks third among the 15 counties in the service region of the Albemarle Food Bank in meals provided. Only Beaufort County and Pasquotank County have more.

The resolution called for the designation of September as Hunger Action Month with a theme of “30 ways in 30 days.”

Commissioner Vice Chairman J. Wallace Perry made a motion to adopt the resolution and authorize Board Chairman L.C. Hoggard III to sign it. Commissioner Charles Smith seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.

Later in the meeting the board discussed a request from the Joan Daniels and Alice Pittman, co-chairs of the Bertie Spooktacular 5K race. The co-chairs sent a letter asking the board to donate $1,000 as a sponsor for the event, which raises funds for the Good Shepherd Food Pantry.

Board members discussed their desire to be fair in their distribution of any funds donated to food pantries and Bertie County Manager Zee Lamb said the county already provided the Good Shepherd Food Pantry with a building that is leased for only $1 per year.

Hoggard said it would be his preference to see all the food pantries treated the same.

Commissioner Rick Harrell said the money could either be divided among all of the food pantries or the county could give $1,000 to each one that conducted a fundraiser.

Lamb said the board already supported the Albemarle Food Bank and that he felt anything donated to the pantries would be appreciated by those who operate them.

Commissioner Norman M. Cherry Sr. then offered a motion to provide $200 for each food pantry in the county with Smith adding a second. The motion passed without objection.

There are eight food pantries in Bertie County, including: Askewville Community Food Pantry, All God’s Children UMC Food Pantry, Good Shepherd, Lewiston Woodville Family Resource Center Food Pantry, Mt. Ararat Baptist Church Food Pantry, Metropolitan Church of God Food Pantry, Mt. Olive Missionary Baptist Church Food Pantry and St. Luke Missionary Baptist Church Food Pantry.