Local organizations continue to feed McDowell residents as North Carolina staggers on through a continued Phase II.
The Foothills Food Hub has partnered again with Restaurante Y Pupuseria Dora (Dora's) to provide a Community Meal service during two of this week's Drive-Thru Food Pantry events, according to a news release.
“These meals come at a time where we need them most; the continued effects of job lay-offs and unemployment in the region are visible at every Food Pantry,” said Foothills Food Hub Project Manager Heather Edwards. “With the recent uptick in COVID-19 related illnesses and delayed business we want residents to know we're responding to the increased needs of our community.”
Along with Community Meals served at local food pantries, the Food Hub and McDowell Access To Care and Health (MATCH) are partnering with McDowell Transit to deliver household food boxes for residents unable to attend the weekly drive-thru pantry events.
“It could be medical, financial, or childcare reasons, it doesn't matter,” said Amy Vaughn of MATCH during one of the remote-area food pantry events. “We have people visiting the pantry to pick up for elderly neighbors, or neighbors in significant need that can't afford to make it out. We wanted to step in and help with that. Our partnership with McDowell Transit allows us to reach those in greatest need, and we're grateful for it.”
Reaching McDowell residents throughout the county has been the focus of the Food Hub’s early summer outreach efforts. Neighborhoods that often seem detached from the city proper do not always have access to social media announcements or bulletin posts regarding food programs.
For these locations, the Food hub relies on local news, radio, word-of-mouth, and establishing relationships within the community. For the summer of 2020, Foothills Food Hub plans to set up temporary pantry opportunities similar to the efforts in Jacktown, Nebo, Coxes Creek and others.
Residents that know of areas without a food pantry are encouraged to reach out with suggestions.
While Food Hub drive-thru pantry events are held in various neighborhoods, transportation and other factors affect residents ability to feed themselves. Through research and networking with other local organizations, the decision to provide a Community Meal opportunity allows for residents to receive a prepared hot meal that would otherwise be impossible, according to the news release.
“We want people to know,” said Edwards. “’We See You.’ We acknowledge the impact the shutdown has taken on an individual, personal level. It's not just about numbers or statistics on a report; sometimes it's just a warm meal to feed your fellow neighbor.”
The Foothills Food Hub continues to closely monitor its activities and volunteers during the COVID pandemic, with efforts to promote social distancing during internal Food Hub projects at the Hub, and requiring volunteers to wear face masks during pantries and food outreach events.
“We just want to do our part to keep McDowell safe,” said Edwards. “Taking extra measures as a precautionary step allows us to keep doing the work we’re doing locally without putting volunteers or the community at risk.”
For the week of Sunday, July 5 through Saturday, July 11, meals are provided by Restaurante Y Pupuseria Dora (Dora's) located off Rutherford Road.
This week's Community Meal services are available at the following Drive-Thru Food Pantry events:
• Today, July 6, 4 p.m. at Coxes Creek Freewill Baptist Church (N.C. 226 North)
• Thursday, July 9, 3:30 to 5 p.m. at Montford Cove Baptist Church (4920 Cove Road, Union Mills, NC 28167)
A full list of food pantry events is available on Foothills Food Hub's official Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pg/FoothillsFoodHub/events/
Restaurants and other businesses interested in working with the Food Hub on Community Meal
projects or donating can do so through the following link: https://foothillsfoodhub.org/covid19-donation
If you are experiencing difficulties getting to food pantry events or need help getting a household Food Box, call McDowell Access To Care and Health at (828-659-5289) to set up Food Box delivery options. MATCH requests that you submit your delivery request the day prior to Food Pantry Events.
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