AN UPDATE FROM THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS

April 20, 2020

The purpose of this message is to provide a brief update on how the Edenton-Chowan Food Pantry is coping with the impact of COVID-19. We are happy to report all four client programs (e.g., low income families, seniors, book bag buddies and emergency food) are OPEN and operating with no interruption in service. We are quite proud of this accomplishment as sadly 9 of our 15 sister pantries in the region are closed. Enormous support from our donors and volunteers has enabled us to overcome the challenges associated with achieving this kind of distinction.

Have we had to make some changes? Of course we have.

  • To ensure the health and safety of our clients and volunteers, enhanced sanitizing processes and the use of personal protective equipment was added to our already vigorous procedures
  • To comply with social distancing guidelines, we adapted our “walk-in” client distribution system to a “drive-thru” model
  • Complying with the CDC’s stay at home guidelines, we’ve learned how to operate with 1/4th of our dedicated volunteer team who chose to stay engaged because they have no underlying health issues that could place them at a higher risk for infection

What about our clients, you ask? How are they doing? We have not yet seen the exponential growth in new clients being reported by the media or our partner agencies Feed American and Food Bank of the Albemarle. We remain vigilant; however, that this situation can change swiftly and if it does we are poised to respond accordingly.

Food supplies, at this point, continue to come in regularly from our two major food providers, Food Lion and Food Bank of the Albemarle. We are also fortunate we entered March with the proceeds from two large canned food drives sponsored by Rocky Hock Baptist Church and the Chowan County’s Sheriff’s Office. St. Anne Catholic Church is also holding a large number of canned goods for us from their 40 Days of Lent food drive.

From a fiscal perspective, donations are up compared to March of last year thus enabling us to absorb all additional COVID-19 costs. This uptick in donations also allows us to scale-up food supplies rapidly, if needed, to meet the needs of a larger client population.

Despite all of the uncertainly that surrounds us, we continue to look forward. We’ve begun making preparations for kicking-off our annual Children’s Summer Nutrition Program in early June and we’re shaping plans for how we may need to operate once the Governor re-opens North Carolina.

Thank you for your interest and support of our mission. Coupled with the hard work and dedication of our volunteers and paid staff, we expect to emerge from these times as a stronger, more resilient team ready to serve the food insecure living in Chowan County.

Respectfully,

Larry Ekberg
President, Board of Directors

“… for I was hungry and you gave me food …”
— Matthew 25:35