Chuck Harmon set off on a 250-mile hike along the North Carolina Mountains to Sea Trail spanning the width of Second Harvest Food Bank’s 18-county service area. He walked a minimum of 15 miles each day to honor 15 years of partnership and feeding community with WXII 12 News. The news outlet covered Harmon’s journey throughout the month of July and hosted community donation events and special food drives.
During his month-long hike, he and his team trekked through Stokes County’s Hanging Rock State Park and held a food drive at the Ingles Shopping Center in Walnut Cove.
“The turnout and local support was incredible,” said Gwen Frisbie-Fulton, Second Harvest’s Marketing and Development Coordinator. “We were amazed by how people from all walks of life, including people who have or are experiencing food insecurity themselves, came out to donate food and funds. It is clear that the people of Stokes County have large hearts and also understand the hardship their neighbors are going through.”
Twenty six percent of Stokes children are food insecure and 21 percent live in poverty, according to Frisbie-Fulton.
“In Stokes County, 52 percent of children qualify for free/reduced school lunch, but they lose access to those meals during the long summer months. Only about four percent of these kids are able to access summer meal sites.”
Second Harvest supports a network of partner agencies doing on-the-ground work of distributing food and feeding the community. Those local agencies include: King Outreach Ministry and The Rock Church (both in King), East Stokes outreach Ministry in Walnut Cove, and Francisco PC N. Stokes Food Pantry in Westfield.
“We are grateful to work with them and rely on their local expertise,” Frisbie-Fulton said.
While people in Stokes are in need, they also give.
“The long days of summer aren’t over yet for Stokes County kids, and many of these struggling families need support year round. We encourage people to reach out to their local pantries to volunteer and see
what support they need. Second Harvest is still raising funds for kids in need this summer. People can donate online at www.hungernwnc.org. and of course we encourage folks to spread the word: food insecurity is real in our communities.”
Amanda Dodson can be reached at 336-813-2426 or on Twitter at AmandaTDodson.