Pandemic reimbursement funds support Beach Food Pantry’s hunger-relief efforts
Published 1:17 pm Saturday, October 29, 2022
Food Bank of the Albemarle announced October 18, 2022 that several hunger relief partners, including Beach Food Pantry in Dare County, will receive a full reimbursement from the Department of Agriculture (DOA) for expenses incurred during the pandemic.
“The COVID-19 pandemic presented incredible challenges for the Food Bank and food pantries, including changes in distribution frequency, food availability, as well as rising costs of food, transportation and labor” said Liz Reasoner, executive director of Food Bank of the Albemarle. “This reimbursement funding will cover some of those expenses, and help Beach Food Pantry continue their outstanding work in Dare County as a Food Bank partner agency.”
The reimbursement funds are available as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) that was passed by Congress on March 27, 2020. This bill allotted $2.2 trillion to provide fast and direct economic aid to the American people negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The Beach Food Pantry is thankful to the Food Bank of the Albemarle for their assistance in presenting a reimbursement request for otherwise unreimbursed COVID-related expenses to the State of NC,” said Elisabeth Silverthorne, executive director of Beach Food Pantry. “To have these funds unexpectedly come back to us, especially in a year when we’ve seen a significant increase in need, is a game-changer. It means that we can continue to provide client-centered service, focused on high-quality and nutritious foods, to people in need that live or work in Dare County. We are also grateful to the State of NC for making these funds available for hunger-relief efforts.”
Beach Food Pantry will be reimbursed in the amount of $49,998 by the DOA for the following expenses during the pandemic: van, van safety accessories; HVAC system and installation, insulation blankets, insulation bags for summer food for kids; storage unit; freezer unit; COVID rapid tests; cleaners and personal protection equipment (PPE); BFPSelfCheckout.org teach for online ordering for clients; Alchemer for online applications; Cognito Forms, a platform for online applications and a Go-To-Meeting subscription.
Food insecurity in Dare County touches 4,500 individuals (12%) of which 1,100 (16%) are children. Across Food Bank of the Albemarle’s 15 county service area, over 41,000 people are considered food insecure, including 13,800 children.
“As an agricultural hub of the State, the Food Bank service area has a high population of immigrant workers, persons of color, and higher than average rates of uninsured residents,” stated a Food Bank press release. “As examples, of those the Food Bank serves, an average of 59% are African American/Black, Hispanic/Latino, or two or more races. As North Carolina’s uninsured rate reaches nearly 13%, in the counties served, the rates are much higher. The range is from 16%-25% with an average of 19% across all 15 counties.”
“Our hunger-relief partners work daily with the Food Bank to provide food and critical resources in their service area,” Reasoner added. “It is through these long-standing, as well as new partnerships, that we can ensure the need is being met across northeastern North Carolina.”
For additional information on Food Bank of the Albemarle and hunger-relief partners in northeastern North Carolina, visit www.afoodbank.org.