Food Bank of the Albemarle in need of volunteers and donations

North Carolina

ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. (WAVY) — The Food Bank of the Albemarle is looking for volunteers and donations to help with the increased demand of people in need of help from their organizations.

Like many other food banks across the region, the Food Bank of the Albemarle had to change the way they operated when it came to getting food out to those in need.

“The safety of our volunteers, employees, and people we serve is our highest priority so we’ve gone to a drive-thru model to limit the contacts. We’re seeing steady numbers that’s rising steadily due to unemployment and COVID cases,” said Brian Gray, the food bank’s communications and volunteer manager.

Gray says there are around 57,000 people in the 15 counties they cover that are currently food insecure.

“We’re expecting those numbers to ebb and flow. Really, this year we’ve seen everything go up and down a little bit. Normally our service numbers stay pretty steady throughout the year but 2020 has been a challenge for food distribution throughout the county. We’ve opened up new pantries and tried to add services to areas where we saw an exceptional need,” he said.

But while demand has been up, Gray says they’ve run into issues with getting enough volunteers to help.

“We’ve lost at least half of our volunteer workforce, if not 60 to 70% in some cases. With our partner agencies, some had to close earlier in the year because they had to close because no one could help out,” he said.

Although those closures were temporary, Gray hopes similar situations won’t happen again so they’re asking people to step up and volunteer.

If you can’t volunteer, the food bank is also looking for donations and says they’ll continue to do the best they can despite an uncertain future.

“What we’re doing now is we’re trying to prepare for the end of 2020 and do our best to go into 2021 with the same attitude of providing the food and resources people need to continue on. We will be here and we look forward to having anyone who can volunteer with us in any way. We’re so appreciative of everything people are giving to the food bank right now,” Gray said.

If you would like to volunteer, donate money, or need assistance, click here.

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