My visit to the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina FBCENC in mid August ranks as one of those transformative experiences in which I measure my life from before and after the event!
I was greeted at the door by Peter Werbicki, the Food Bank’s President and CEO and Ashley Delamar, Vice President of Development. My old friend Nancy Novell has connected us – she now works as Peter’s Executive Assistant.
Although both Peter and Ashley lead this large non-profit that raises and distributes $8 million annually, they generously took more than an hour of their day to show me around the Food Bank’s large warehouse and explain how they achieve their mission – that “No One Goes Hungry in Central & Eastern North Carolina”.
Irregardless Cafe is joining with many NC businesses and folks by supporting the Food Bank at its next Charity Beer Dinner on Wednesday, Sept 10, 7pm, featuring brews from Carolina Brewery.
What shook me to the core was learning that more than 560,000 North Carolinians – from just the 34 counties served by the FBCENC – struggle each day to provide enough food for their families. How could this be in a State so abundant with food and prosperity as North Carolina? Then to learn how effectively Peter’s team addresses this embarrassing reality by sourcing financial and food donations and rescuing good food that had been destined to the land fills, opened my eyes to the enormity of their accomplishment.
Ashley, Anya & Peter
The Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina have developed a working network of 800 partner agencies such as soup kitchens, food pantries, shelters, and programs for children and adults through distribution centers in Durham, Greenville, New Bern, Raleigh, the Sandhills (Southern Pines) and Wilmington. About 50 million pounds of vital food and non food essentials are distributed annually with the volunteer support of 170k volunteer hours annually. Amazing!
On top of this, the Food Bank is able to provide as much as 50% of this food as perishable produce and meats – and is engaged in initiatives to help change this ‘at- risk’ population’s eating habits to healthier options. Special programs are in place to feed children high nutrient meals at school, on weekends and during the summer holidays. What an unbelievable achievement!
And throughout my tour, various staff members came out to meet me – the Food Bank’s staff is extremely effective! To name only a few: Linda Fisher, Manager of Events and Food Drives; Molly Rivera, Digital Media Coordinator; Jen Newmeyer, Manager of Digital Media and Earline Middleton, VP of Agency Services and Programs.
There is no doubt that Irregardless Cafe & Catering is honored to meet all the amazing folks at the FBCENC and will be supporting the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina for many years to come.
Written by Anya Gordon, Marketing Director, Irregardless Cafe & Catering