This year marks the fourth annual Food Lion Feeds “The Great Pantry Makeover” Campaign. After a brief pause to help our communities recover from a devastating hurricane season, we are back on our way towards completing 30 pantry makeovers this year. The focus of the 2018 Great Pantry Makeover is to help feeding agencies expand their resources and ability to distribute fresh, nutritious food to their clients. Through these makeovers in 2018, we will be able to provide the equivalent of 1 million meals through food and equipment donations and volunteer hours.
You can keep up with the Food Lion Feeds team as we recap the impact we're making through The Great Pantry Makeover events here on our Lion's Tale blog.
Below is a recap for the week of Nov. 4, 2018:
November 5 – Martinez, Ga.
Christway Christian Church
Carrie Flono is accustomed to helping people as a Food Lion Customer Service Manager at the one of the Food Lion store locations in Augusta, Ga., but on Monday she was helping a different group: Hungry seniors and families in need of food to help them make ends meet.
Carrie and five other Food Lion associates joined forces as part of this year’s Great Pantry Makeover at Christway Christian Church, bagging food and assisting people to their cars.
“This is just an awesome thing to do for the community,” Flono said. “There are a lot of people here who need help and having the news coverage today helps to get the word out that we are here to help them.”
Armed in blue and yellow Great Pantry Makeover shirts, the associates first took a tour of the church’s food pantry which included two new freezers supplied by Food Lion’s donation. “We could not help as many people as we have if it was not for Food Lion,” said the pantry’s director Christy Brown.
The pantry, which opened in 2000, has served more than 23,000 people. Because of Food Lion’s donation this week, they can now serve even more.
November 5 – Fredericksburg, Va.
Spotsylvania Emergency Concerns Association
Spotsylvania Emergency Concerns Association, otherwise known as SECA, has been serving their community for over 30 years by providing both in-kind and financial assistance to individuals and families in need. They are a volunteer organization only, so 100 percent of the donations they receive go right back to assisting their clients five days a week.
Although they have the capacity to store both fresh and non-perishable food, their freezers, refrigerators and shelving units were starting to fall apart. “It’s been hard for us to stock up on food donations because our equipment can’t hold very much right now,” said Dianne Williams, one of the volunteers that oversees the pantry. That’s when Food Lion Feeds stepped in. They purchased new shelving units, cooling equipment, and made a food donation as part of this year’s Great Pantry Makeover event. Volunteers help assemble shelving and stock the pantry.
“I can’t even begin to tell you how amazing this is! We are so grateful to Food Lion for choosing us to receive a makeover because it was much needed,” Williams said. “Now we can stay fully stocked again with food and I know how happy our clients will be to receive a bag full of fresh food!”
November 6 – Aiken, S.C.
Area Churches Together Services
Suzanne Jackson has seen a lot of success stories and some of the pain from clients at Area Churches Together Services in Aiken, S.C. Tuesday was one of those “success” days.
“We could not do what we do every day to help people throughout Aiken County if it were not for partners like Food Lion and Golden Harvest Food Bank,” Jackson said during an interview inside the agency.
As the agency’s executive director, she oversees more than 300 volunteers and the many transportation, food and financial assistance to people in need. The agency, often referred to as ACTS, is a 2018 recipient of Food Lion’s Great Pantry Makeover campaign which concentrates on adding “fresh” capacity for this year’s recipients.
Food Lion provided funds to purchase a new pallet jack and shelving to provide produce for clients. “This shelving helps us to better organize our fresh produce for our clients and the pallet jack helps us to move heavy pallets of food around more efficiently,” she said.
Volunteers, which consisted of nine local store managers and other associates, also helped the agency by loading 74 Food Lion Feeds reusable bags with items to be distributed later this month during “Senior Saturday” to benefit seniors living in Jackson, S.C.
November 6 – Norfolk, Va.
The Garden Food Pantry
Twenty percent of Garden United’s Methodist Church lives in poverty and food insecurity is widespread. Instead of worrying about how the church would fund their mission of fighting hunger in the community, they started a food pantry, trusting in God, and have had an abundance to give away ever since.
“We were intentional in our design as a client choice pantry, meaning that we don't prep bags or determine anyone's need,” said Pastor Christa Springfield. “Our clients shop like anyone would in a grocery store setting.” Therefore, Pastor Springfield was excited when she learned the Garden Food Pantry had been selected to receive a Great Pantry Makeover from Food Lion Feeds.
The pantry makeover provided them with a commercial refrigerator and freezer, shelving and a new computer for client intake. As a result, the renovated pantry now looks like a mini-grocery store which allows their clients an enjoyable and dignified shopping experience.
November 6 – Tabor City, NC
Facts of Life Church
Tabor City, N.C., was hit hard when Hurricane Florence battered Eastern North Carolina earlier this fall. Thankfully for Tabor City, its home to Pastor Daisy Brooks and the community at the Facts of Life Church.
Despite debris still lining nearby roadways and crops from nearby fields decimated, Daisy and her group of dedicated volunteers recognize that Hurricane Florence resulted in many more community members fighting hunger, and they have continued to work hard to help feed their hungry neighbors.
Since its founding in May 2015, the food pantry at Facts of Life has distributed more than 370,000 meals. In 2018 alone, Facts of Life has served nearly 20,000 of its neighbors fighting hunger.
The group of Food Lion associates that volunteered during this year’s Great Pantry Makeover at Facts of Life loved the opportunity to support Daisy and her team and repaint several rooms of the church, assemble more shelving to hold more food, prepare for a new refrigerator and freezer, install a safer and structurally sound floor, and of course restock the pantry.
It was clear that Daisy’s neighbors count on her, and we hope Daisy knows that she can always count on her friends at Food Lion.
November 8 – Clarksville, Va.
Clarksville Food Pantry
Clarksville Food Pantry services the people in Mecklenburg County, Va., and has become more necessary than ever, as two prior agencies in that county have recently closed their doors. The pantry opens their doors three times a week to the community, providing a much-needed service in this rural area where 38 percent of the people served by the pantry this year
are under 18 years of age.
Therefore, the food pantry couldn’t wait to share the news of their pantry makeover with Dennis Hudson and T Jay Newton, their local Food Lion store manager and assistant manager. The pantry receives surplus breads, pastries, deli meats, vegetables and other non-perishable foods at no cost through the Clarksville Food Lion Store’s Direct Store Pickup Program. “We appreciate Food Lion and welcome them to our efforts to ensure that everyone in our community has adequate food,” said Robert Thaxton, president of the food pantry. “That is our sole purpose.”
The makeover included sturdier shelving and more refrigeration to allow them to hold more perishable and nonperishable product. They also received external signage to provide greater visibility and help guide people to the pantry. Finally, the agency received a computer and client management system software to record their pounds received and clients served.
Thanks to this makeover, strong continuing local support and an enthusiastic volunteer base the Clarksville Food Pantry is now able to serve more people and include some perishable foods in its distribution.
November 9 – High Point, NC
Helping Hands Ministry
Serving around 2,000 families every month, Helping Hands Ministry in High Point, N.C., is an amazing place. From offering neighbors in need financial assistance to help pay utility bills, to offering job training resources to helping struggling families ensure they have a nutritious meal, Helping Hands does it all.
Now in its 25th year of existence, Helping Hands was the recipient of one of Food Lion Feeds Great Pantry Makeovers. This week, a team of Food Lion associates from nearby stores helped clean the facility, installed new shelving and then helped stock the pantry with fresh produce, meat and canned goods. In addition to today’s food donation, Helping Hands also collects food donations from three area Food Lion stores nearly every day of the week.
It was a great day giving back to an organization that does so much for the towns and cities we both serve!
November 9 – Hopkins, S.C.
JBC Cares, located in rural Hopkins, S.C., has had its food pantry doors open for the past six months and is already seeing a growing number of individuals and families seeking assistance with food. “When we first started, we were serving about 50 people each week. Lately that number has doubled to 100, so the word is spreading about how JBC Cares can help folks in the community,” said Pastor Harvin, the senior Pastor at Jerusalem Baptist Church were JBC operates from.
JBC Cares only had one freezer and one refrigerator to store fresh and frozen product in, so they were limited on the number of perishable items they could give out. With the help of Food Lion Feeds’ “The Great Pantry Makeover” campaign, JBC Cares was awarded funds to help purchase four new refrigerators and two new freezers. Now the pantry is able to increase their perishable donations and help nourish their community even more.
Food Lion Feeds volunteers also helped put a fresh coat of paint inside the pantry and assembled shelves to hold more non-perishable items. “We are so grateful to Food Lion Feeds for all their generosity,” exclaimed Jackie Brown, manager of the pantry. “The paint and shelving really help transform the area and will provide a better shopping experience for our clients!”