Have you ever been hungry – really hungry?

Published 9:23 am Thursday, July 23, 2015

Have you ever been hungry?

Hungry doesn’t count when all you had to do was go to the cabinet or refrigerator to get something to eat.

Really hungry was when you were not sure where your next meal or bit of food was coming from or how many days it might be before food was available.

“We have that here in Davie County,” said Monte Taylor, a member of Episcopal Church of Ascension in Fork. “It’s around us more that most realize. Hunger knows no age barrier. It’s seen in the young and old alike.”

Teachers and school staff from elementary to high school see it daily, social workers deal with it daily, and most likely many Davie residents help to provide food to family and friends from time to time.

In Davie County, 14 percent of the population is food insecure and live in poverty with 24 percent of those are children, according to the Second Harvest Food Bank.

There are three food pantries that work to fight hunger in Davie County.

On Tuesday, July 14, Our Daily Bread Food Pantry at The Episcopal Church of the Ascension on Fork-Bixby Road in Advance celebrated a thank you luncheon for the many individuals, churches, grocery stores, civic clubs, and charitable organizations that have helped the pantry serve the hundreds that visit each month.

A newly upgraded pantry, led by the efforts of Ascension youth member Sidnee Everhart, was celebrated as she works toward her Gold Award in Girl Scouting.

The Church of the Ascension considers these churches, individuals, and organizations partners in this ministry as well as their brothers and sisters in Christ.  Partners are Advance First Baptist, Bixby Presbyterian, Davie Baptist, Elbaville United Methodist, First Presbyterian Mocksville, Fork Baptist, Good Shepherd Episcopal Cooleemee, Liberty United Methodist, Macedonia Moravian, Mocks United Methodist,  Mocksville Lions Club, The Davie County Food Lion Stores, Lowes Food Advance, Mocksville Wal-Mart, Energy United Foundation, Food Lion Charitable Foundation, Wal-Mart Foundation, Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina, and many individuals.

Our Daily Bread at Ascension purchases food for Cooleemee and Cornatzer elementary schools Book Bag programs through its nonprofit designation. Ascension works closely with The Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina with both the book bag program and its pantry operations.

Last fiscal year Our Daily Bread distributed 112,641 pounds of food or 93,867 meals.

Hunger is a real problem in Davie County.  Many of the clients that visit Our Daily Bread are elderly, disabled, or underemployed – meaning they don’t make enough money to pay all the bills and buy food, too. Many do not qualify for Food and Nutrition Services (Food Stamps), so those individuals don’t have a lot of choices left.

What can you do to help?

At Our Daily Bread, the biggest need is food. Food donations are welcomed, and monetary donations are welcomed as well. Checks can be made out to Church of the Ascension (memo: Pantry) and mailed to 183 Fork-Bixby Road, Advance, NC  27006.

Baby food, baby shampoo, and baby diapers are items highly requested and are difficult to obtain by most food pantries. Non-food items are also needed. Families that can’t afford food also can’t afford toilet paper, detergent, household cleaners, soaps, and general toiletries.

Help is needed picking up food from two Davie County grocery stores and volunteers could be used when the pantry is open six times per month. Call Church of the Ascension to leave a message if interested in volunteering at 998-0857.  Be sure to leave your name and a number to be reached.