We are all guilty of standing in front of the refrigerator, while there is an abundance of food, and still struggling to decide what to eat. Something as simple as grabbing food from the kitchen or ordering takeout is not an option for families facing hunger. We do not realize the agony these families face to put food on the table.
New Hanover County 4-H is finding a way to help by hosting the third annual 4-H Food Drive’s Caring Hearts, Helping Hands community service project benefiting the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina. These familiar phrases taken from the 4-H pledge, “…my heart to greater loyalty…my hands to larger service…” are key to supporting our neighbors.
Throughout March, you can collect nonperishable food items and donate to one of six donation sites partnering with 4-H. As we experience the ongoing ripple effect of the pandemic and the significant increase in the cost of living it has created, our communities are now looking towards food banks for assistance more than ever. Members are honored to hold this community project again. Every day hunger disrupts the lives of 1 in 5 children and more than 756,000 residents across central and eastern North Carolina. According to the 2021 Impact Report provided by the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina, over 115 million meals were distributed to residents across the 34 counties comprising these regions. We can lend our “hands to larger service” by helping through this 4-H initiative.
If you are unable to visit the drop-off sites, you can visit the arboretum on March 11th from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. to donate nonperishable foods at the drive-through location. A table at the Wilmington Farmers Market/Tidal Creek is available to drop off non-perishable, and you can purchase fresh vegetables to donate to the project, on the fourth Saturday in March. A win-win for everyone!
Donations can also be dropped off at one of multiple locations around New Hanover County, including New Hanover County Public Library (all four branches), New Hanover County Cooperative Extension and Arboretum, Tad’s Barber Shop, and Lowes Foods of Carolina Beach Road. Monetary donations are welcome and will be accepted at the New Hanover County Extension and Arboretum. Make checks payable to the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina. For every $1 donated, the Food Bank provides five meals.
New Hanover County 4-H is honored to have Lowes Foods of Carolina Beach Road as a partner in this worthy endeavor. Lowes Foods supports other local 4-H programs including community service, awards ceremony, and various 4-H activities. We are very thankful for their increased support and commitment to area youth and families.
To learn more about the community service project, go to https://newhanover.ces.ncsu.edu.
J. Scott Enroughty is the 4-H Educator of the NC Cooperative Extension Center for New Hanover County, located at the arboretum, 6206 Oleander Drive in Wilmington. The gardens are free and open daily 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 910-798-7660.