Iredell County, NC – Food pantries and emergency food assistance organizations across the county and region are seeing meat shortages on their shelves as supply chain challenges continue to impact the quantities and variety of food available. “Inflation, including core expenses of housing, fuel and food that affect low-resourced families disproportionately, are impacting the number of individuals seeking assistance, food available through our wonderful grocery partners and the pantry’s ability to purchase meat at the same levels as in the past,” says Eric Aft, CEO at Second Harvest Food Bank of Noorthwest NC, the Feeding America food bank serving the region that includes most of Iredell County. Second Harvest reports that government food sources alone will decrease by 4 to 5 million this year.
Like most food pantries, local organization Iredell Christian Ministries is struggling to provide fresh and frozen meat to those in need in our communities. Joy Morrison, Executive Director at Iredell Christian Mission stated, “During the past couple of months, ICM has only been able to secure five boxes of meat at Second Harvest Food Bank of NWNC each week, instead of our traditional purchase of 12 boxes. The average cost of a box of meat purchased through local vendors is about $250.00. That puts us at an additional $1,750 for meat purchases or donations per week. When those additional costs are not feasible, we have no choice but to cut back on the amount of meat that is given out to those in need during food distribution.
The need in Iredell County is critical and we need support now more than ever states FeedNC. “Currently we are seeing 30-50 new applicants a week right now from families and fixed-income individuals who are seeking assistance,” says Brittany Holbert, Program Director with FeedNC.
How can you help this situation?
United Way of Iredell County is working in partnership with nine local pantries to ensure that there is an adequate supply of meat available during this crisis. Led by a generous gift from our partners at JC Steele and with the support of companies, churches, and community members we are coordinating a bulk purchase of meat. Marian Clark, President of JC Steele says, “This is a notable example of the Unite Iredell effort being led through our local United Way. By working together, we can create much more impact than each of these pantries could do on their own.”
“Join us. 100% of your gift will go directly towards ensuring our friends and neighbors have access to the food necessary to keep their family healthy as our economy adjusts to the disruptions of the last few years,” says Nelson Granade (Pastor at First Baptist Church of Statesville – Davie Ave.)
First Baptist Church of Statesville has also made a lead gift as a way of challenging other faith communities to join them in filling this need. Dr. Nelson Granade said, “Congregations are often the first to see a community need, as folks come to us when resources are down.” He added, “We realize that we can do more by working together, so we decided to lead out in the “Where’s the Meat” campaign.” Dr. Granade encourages other congregations in Iredell County to join First Baptist Church of Statesville in this effort.
To make a financial gift to this effort, visit our event page at https://bit.ly/IredellMeat, or text MEAT to 4144 or mail a check to United Way of Iredell County at PO Box 1312, Statesville NC 28687. Be sure to write “Meat” in the memo line so that your gift will be correctly designated to this effort.
The following list of agencies are currently accepting in-kind donations. Please call them directly with any questions you have about what an acceptable donation is and how to donate:
- Iredell Christian Ministries 704-924-6700
- Landmark Relief 704-873-9701
- Matthew 25 Ministries 704-546-5859
- Iredell COAST 704-380-0203
- FeedNC 704-660-9010
- Fifth Street Ministries 704-872-4045
- The Christian Mission – Mooresville 704-664-2357
- The Salvation Army 704-872-9622
- Yokefellow Ministry of Greater Statesville 704-872-7677