Action Pathways Second Harvest Food Bank of Southeast North Carolina today announced a $213,722 grant from the Walmart foundation to help secure and distribute more fresh produce to families in need. The grant will help Second Harvest Food Bank provide meals and focus on fresh produce to improve health and well-being.
“One in 6 people in our seven county service area struggle with hunger. People who face hunger do not have regular access to enough food for a healthy, active life,” said Lonnie Ballard, CEO of Action Pathways and Second Harvest Food Bank. “With this grant, we will not only provide meals to people in need, we also hope to improve health outcomes.”
As part of the Food Bank’s current three-year strategic plan, the Food Bank is focusing on increasing produce sourcing and distribution by 15% annually. The Food Bank also plans to:
- Purchase a 26′ refrigerated truck with a lift gate for the additional produce deliveries
- Hire a truck driver for produce specific receiving and distribution efforts
- Increase its collaborative efforts with partner Food Banks as it relates to produce procurement and distribution.
- Increase quantity of produce drops and traditional distributions to agencies (additional 4 times per week).
- Purchase insulated blankets, thermometers, and commercial refrigerators to promote best food safety practices
Research shows that communities with the highest rates of food insecurity face a higher risk of health-related diseases. The Feeding America network of food banks, of which Second Harvest Food Bank of Southeast North Carolina is a member, has secured 1.5 billion pounds of fruits and vegetables for families in need.
Walmart and the Walmart Foundation provide donations of both food and funds to the FEeding America nationwide network of 200 member food banks. Locally, this grant is a part of Walmart and the Walmart Foundation’s ongoing commitment to helping families who struggle with hunger by providing four billion meals to people in need in the U.S. by 2020. To learn more about what the Second Harvest Food Bank of Southeast North Carolina is doing to fight hunger, visit hungercantwait.org
About Action Pathways Second Harvest Food Bank of Southeast North Carolina: A proud member of Feeding America, Second Harvest Food Bank of Southeast North Carolina serves sevent counties: Bladen, Cumberland, Duplin, Harnett, Hoke, Robeson, and Sampson. With a large rural service area, the organization relies on strong partnerships with over 260 churches, food, pantries, and other nonprofits to distribute food to those in need. In Southeast North Carolina, 19.1% of people are at risk of hunger. Led by the principles of “Feed-Advocate-Empower,” Second Harvest Food Bank is committed to improving access to healthy foods, advocating for those in need and empowering the community with emergency assistance and education.