Feeding the hungry

Published 2:20 pm Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Richard Hoggard, Chairman of the Ahoskie Food Pantry, accepts a $5,000 donation from Linda Taylor on behalf of Coastal Staffing Service. Staff Photo by Amanda VanDerBroek

AHOSKIE – An early Christmas gift came to a local food pantry by way of Coastal Staffing Service.

On Tuesday, the business made a $5,000 donation to the Ahoskie Food Pantry located at the First Presbyterian Church.

Coastal Staffing Service Ahoskie Branch Manager Linda Taylor and Regional Manager Cheryl Darby presented Richard Hoggard, Chairman of the Food Pantry, with the donation. Coastal Staffing also provided an additional $100 from Southern Bank which was given to the company by a local news station.

Taylorsaid the amount of Coastal Staffing’s donation is determined based on the percentage of sales.

“We try to donate that money each year locally,” she said. “It makes me feel fantastic to know that we helped someone.”

Last year, Coastal Staffing made a $1,000 donation to the same food pantry. Taylor said this year, due to an increase in sales, they were able to give more.

Hoggard said the donation will go toward the pantry’s Backpack Ministry.

The ministry serves 44 children who attend Bearfield Primary School and Hertford County Middle School and often do not have food for the weekend. Hoggard said the ministry began last year with 16 children.

The Food Pantry works with school personnel to fill the children’s backpacks with juice, boxed milk, cereal, fruit, packaged dinners and snacks.

“This money will provide four months worth of food for these children,” he said.

He noted how food pantries often struggle to meet the need following the holidays.

“This makes us feel better,” he said about the donation.

The Food Pantry, which relies heavily on community support and donations, provides $75,000 worth of food each year to families and individuals in the area.

Taylor said Coastal Staffing has three corporate offices and a total of 11 employees. The company was able to donate $20,000 this year to area food pantries.

“We’re all volunteer-oriented,” she said of the company’s employees. “It’s something we like to do.”