It’s the type of community where you might well be told to “Turn by the oak tree up by the old Harris’ farm” by way of directions. Shady Grove United Methodist Church is surrounded by small residential neighborhoods and farm fields. And every 2nd Monday of the month, Shady Grove’s pastor and volunteers open the doors to the Shady Grove UMC Food Pantry and welcome their community in.
Second Harvest works with and provides food to over 470 partner programs, many of which are just like Caswell County’s Shady Grove United Methodist Church: small, volunteer-run and grassroots operations. They are small, but making a big impact in their local community.
While Second Harvest’s core program provides approximately 65% of the food distributed by our partners, we are also invested in growing their capacity and helping our partners do the important work they do. After all, we rely on them for the food we rescue to make its way out into all the rural and urban communities of Northwest North Carolina that need it.
That is why we are so pleased to have again this year partnered with Food Lion Feeds for the Great Pantry Makeover.
Every year, Food Lion and food bankers work together to identify local on-the-ground partners in the Second Harvest network who have basic infrastructure needs in their pantries or community kitchens. Frequently these are programs like Shady Grove UMC, which continue to grow in reach and impact, but need help to improve their actual facilities.
This brings us to a recent October morning when Food Lion volunteers showed up on a dewy Caswell County morning ready to work. These volunteers repainted the Shady Grove’s pantry, donated and installed new shelving so more food could be stored and better organized, and installed a wheelchair ramp to make the pantry accessible to the large senior community in the area.
Travel a few hours Southwest to Iredell County, and Food Lion volunteers were at it again. This time, they were in the larger city of Statesville at Iredell Christian Ministries (ICM).
Our partners at ICM serve on average around 850 families every month. In addition to helping to address hunger in the community, ICM also offers a variety of services to Iredell County residents such as financial assistance, counseling and referral services for individuals and families in need. With all this activity, the carpets, the walls and the seating were wanting of repair.
At ICM, the team of Food Lion volunteers and their families repainted the pantry, deep-cleaned the carpets, donated seating and a commercial refrigerator and freezer and stocked the pantry with the equivalent of over 7,000 meals for local families.
This is Food Lion’s third year of the Great Pantry Makeover and they are picking up speed. This year, the company expanded their goal and, in honor of their 60th anniversary, are planning on completing 60 pantry makeovers across the grocery store’s 10-state footprint. You can learn more about the projects here.
Love the work that Food Lion is doing? You can support Food Lion Feed’s efforts by participating in the their upcoming Holidays without Hunger Campaign (launching November 15th) and learn more about their support of anti-hunger initiatives here.
From pantry makeovers to donating funds from the annual Apple Bag campaign to sorting tens of thousands of pounds of pinto beans each year at Sort A Rama to year-round donations of healthy, staple food items for our hunger relief efforts, we are so grateful to Food Lion for their on-going, generous support.
Together, we are feeding community.