Local emergency food bank organizes giveaways, looks to expand
This story has been updated with corrections.
By Sarah Campbell
GRANITE QUARRY — A local emergency food pantry is partnering with Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina and Feeding America to host four food giveaways throughout April and May. Trucks filled with food will deliver to Grateful Heart Community Service’s facility.
And Dr. John Reeves, director of development for Grateful Heart, said all people need to do is show up with picture identification in hand.
“This is a gift to the people of Rowan County from these three organizations,” he said. “All those who have a need are welcome to come.”
The giveaways are restricted to residents of Rowan County and each residence can receive only one haul. There will be a variety of food available, including plenty of protein-packed foods on hand such as peanut butter, tuna fish and pinto beans, Reeves said. The first giveaway will be held Saturday at Grateful Heart Community Service at 706 Dunn’s Mountain Road. The remaining events will be April 28, May 12 and May 26. They will start at 1 p.m. and continue until 4 p.m. while food lasts. • • •
Grateful Heart Community Service has been feeding the hungry since 2009 when the nonprofit became a Feed America representative. The emergency food bank hosts food distributions every Monday and Thursday, providing about 25 families each day with enough food for a week.
Families have to sign up beforehand to receive food. They can call 704-209-2257 and leave their name and phone number. A volunteer will return their call to set up their pickup. But people don’t just receive food from Grateful Heart, Reeves said.They get pointed in the direction of additional resources.
“We give them the who and the where they can go to get more help if they need it because we can’t do it all by ourselves,” Reeves said. Brenda Morgan, the co-owner of Grateful Heart, said they feed about 600 people each month. That’s why the nonprofit is looking to expand from the 900-square-foot room it is using now to a 6,500-square-foot building.
Reeves said the building would be a food and transition center that provides workshops on topics like how to balance a checkbook and how parents can talk to their child’s teacher effectively.
“We don’t want to just provide food, we want to help people in transition,” he said.
Reeves said the nonprofit is set to appear before the Rowan County Board of Commissioners on April 16 to seek approval to apply for a grant to build the center.
“We’re praying about it, but it’s all in God’s will,” he said.
If the new center materializes, Reeves said, the nonprofit is hoping to hire two full-time staff members so that food distributions can be held at least four times a week. That would likely extend the food bank’s reach to nearly 5,000 families.
“We’re trying to eradicate hunger,” Reeves said. “And we’re trying to augment and add to the services in Rowan County so that people can receive the help they need.”
Contact reporter Sarah Campbell at 704-797-7683.
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