Food Drive Update: 50,438 pounds and counting!

Thank you to all the shoppers, store managers, staff, congregations and volunteers who turned out Oct. 9-11 to support the Leadership Semi-Annual Food Drive!  So far, 50,438 pounds have been collected for the Greensboro Urban Ministry Food Pantry. We are still receiving contributions from several congregations that held drives as well, so stay tuned for updates!

In the past year, the Greensboro metro area has garnered more notice locally and nationally for poverty and food insecurity issues:

  • Nearly 1 in 5 residents in Greensboro live in poverty (Brookings Institution, 2014)
  • Greensboro is home to 17 of Guilford County’s 24 food deserts, areas where a significant number of residents live below the poverty line and lack ready access to healthy, affordable food (News & Record, USDA)
  • More than 25 percent of Greensboro residents reported not having access to adequate food in the past year (Food Research and Action Center, 2014)

At Greensboro Urban Ministry, requests for emergency food assistance have increased significantly, too. On an average day, the Emergency Assistance Program provides 70-80 men, women and families with food assistance. This summer, however, the program has seen record days of 110, 120, and 140 people applying for food assistance. In June and July, the pantry received 160,863 pounds of food – and distributed 153,048.

“Keeping pantry shelves stocked year-round to meet the need is critical, and we are so appreciative of our volunteers who head up this food drive in the community to help us be prepared to serve as many hungry neighbors as we can,” said Rev. Myron Wilkins, Greensboro Urban Ministry’s executive director.

The food drive volunteer committee, formerly called Leadership Greensboro Seniors, became directly affiliated with Greensboro Urban Ministry earlier this year. Now the drives are called Leadership Semi-Annual Food Drives. They will continue to take place in spring and fall.

“The drives are outstanding examples of how the faith community, businesses and citizens can work together to help those who are hungry,” said volunteer chair Bill Giddings. “It’s easy – just add a few items to your cart, and we’ll have volunteers at participating stores to collect your donation right there. It doesn’t get much easier than that.”