The Edenton-Chowan Food Pantry was founded in 1983 by members of St. Paul‘s Episcopal Church. It has grown to become an organization sponsored by 18 local churches, a handful of supportive sponsors, and a multitude of dedicated donors.
Food assistance is provided to more than 300 households and 235 senior adults each month. In addition, the Book Bag Buddies program provides weekend meals to 161 children attending Edenton Chowan Public Schools and the 2020 Children’s Summer Nutrition Program served 604 meals to children between mid-June and mid-August.
The Food Pantry is led by the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors and 4 part-time employees. Prior to mid 2020, it also employed a Director. Ray Wells served for many years in this capacity, overseeing expansion of the warehouse and storage facilities as well as the implementation of a computerized client data system. Following Ray’s retirement in 2016, Roger Coleman took the reins doubling the number of contributing churches and increasing the number of volunteers. In 2017 Roger led the Food Pantry’s efforts to raise $100,000 to match a $100,000 grant from Dr. John Phillips, creating an endowment for the Pantry’s future. Joe Rizzo assumed this role in the spring of 2019. As a not-for-profit organization, the Edenton-Chowan Food Pantry is governed by a 20 member Board of Directors comprised of representatives from the contributing churches and the community at large.
By weaving together donations received from individuals, local businesses, churches, clubs and civic organizations with the money received from grants we apply for and the annual interest distribution from our endowment fund, the volunteers at the Edenton-Chowan Food Pantry work hard to create a safety net for the almost 3,000 food insecure individuals living in the community. The Edenton-Chowan Food Pantry is a member agency of the Food Bank of the Albemarle and Feeding America.