DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – Durham Public Schools have a new tool to help make sure kids and their families have enough to eat.
Food Lion donated a mobile food pantry to the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina. The Durham Public Schools already have several schools with food pantries for families.
“It’s a tremendous need,” said Marcelle Thomas, school improvement specialist with the Durham Public Schools. “We have a real hunger problem in Durham, as we do all over the country.
“Many of our children, especially our younger children who are just getting to school, they’re just in kindergarten, they’re finding out, ‘Gee. I come to school. I eat twice a day.’”
The food bank will starting using the new $100,000 truck in about a month or so to get food to other schools around Durham.
“What we know from people who work with folks who are facing hunger is they can’t always get to the food distribution network or the food bank, so what this allows us to do is to go anywhere where need is and it allows us to take fresh, nutritious food to where people need it the most,” said Meg Ham president of Food Lion.
According to the Food Bank, 106,990 people are considered “food insecure” in the six-county area around Durham that includes Durham, Chatham, Granville, Orange, Person and Vance counties.
Of those, 30,750 are children.
In Durham alone, 50,380 people are considered “food insecure” and 13,360 of those are children.
“We believe no one should have to choose between dinner and rent,” Ham said.