Fighting Hunger

Published 10:33 am Thursday, July 13, 2017

By Brian Gray
Communications Manager
Food Bank of the Albemarle

KELFORD – Residents living in West Bertie County in need of food assistance now have a shorter distance to travel.

Food Bank of the Albemarle launched a new mobile food pantry at West Bertie Elementary School on June 19 to serve the residents of the Lewiston-Woodville, Kelford and Roxobel area of Bertie County.

The mobile food pantry is a result of a collaborative effort of Perdue associates, community leaders and Food Bank staff. This mobile food pantry is being funded by a $10,000 grant from The Franklin P. and Arthur W. Perdue Foundation.

“Food Bank of the Albemarle is very excited about this new mobile food pantry distribution,” said Executive Director Liz Reasoner. “The first deployment exceeded all expectations by serving 184 households and we are especially grateful for the funding by the Perdue Foundation to help families in need located in the western part of Bertie County.”

Perdue donated 20,000 pounds of protein products to support the mobile pantry in western Bertie County.

In addition to the Perdue Foundation funding, Perdue donated 20,000 pounds of protein products to support the mobile pantry and the Food Bank of the Albemarle’s efforts to fight hunger in the region. Perdue associates were also on site assisting with the food distribution.

“At Perdue, our associates are committed to staying connected to the local community and that includes helping our neighbors who are struggling with food insecurity,” said Jeff Stalls, Director of Operations at the Perdue Processing Plant in Lewiston-Woodville. “We recognize there are so many people right here in our own backyard in Bertie County who face an on-going challenge with putting food on their table for themselves and their families. I’m proud of the associates’ willingness to lend a helping hand to those in need in our community, and honored that we can continue to make a difference through our partnership with the Food Bank of the Albemarle.”

More than 4,800 people in Bertie County, or 23.5% of the county population, are food insecure with an estimated 940 being children under 18 years of age. There are nearly 2,100 senior citizens living at or below the poverty line.

This new mobile pantry will deploy to West Bertie Elementary School on the third Monday of each month, operating from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. The distribution will provide much-needed protein, fresh produce and other nutritious food to the hungry men, women and children of the area.

Many clients of Food Bank of the Albemarle have health issues, limited access to health services and are unaware of the resources available to help them gain self-sustainability. For this reason, Food Bank staff will provide the mobile food pantry clients with on-site outreach, education and when possible, health screenings through engagement with community resources such as Vidant Bertie Hospital, Albemarle Regional Health Services and Roanoke-Chowan Community Health Center. Additionally, the hunger-relief organization will collaborate with the Bertie County Cooperative Extension Service to provide the clients with resources and guidance on proper nutrition and healthy eating.

For more information about Food Bank of the Albemarle’s Mobile Food Pantry programs, visit, or call Agency Relations Manager Katrina Schauland Watkins at 252-335-4035, ext. 108.

The Franklin P. and Arthur W. Perdue Foundation, the charitable giving arm of Perdue Farms, was established in 1957 by company founder Arthur W. Perdue and is funded through the estates of Arthur W. Perdue and Frank Perdue.