ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. (WAVY) — September is Hunger Action Month: an effort to highlight food insecurity across the country.

WAVY’s parent company Nexstar is partnering with Feeding America, the largest hunger relief organization in the country.

This week we visited the Food Bank of the Albermarle in Elizabeth City. They serve 15 counties in throughout Northeast North Carolina. Officials say every month about one-million pounds of food are distributed from their warehouse to those in need in the community.

Executive director Liz Reasoner says they focus on getting locally grown produce to those with food insecurity.

“There’s 44 millions pounds of  unharvested produce that exists here in the 15 counties,” said Reasoner. “We are in a produce rich area and if we can tap into that market to provide fresh nutritious food as opposed to processed food, people can have a healthier diet.”

During the pandemic Reasoner says their food bank saw a 54% increase in need. That need eventually subsided with government assistance. As pandemic era benefits come to a close it’s unclear how that will affect the need in this community.

Watch in the video player above.