'Feed the Need' drive wraps up Saturday

RALEIGH Saturday was Feed the Need Day and the last day of the drive. There were trucks at Harris Teeter and boxes where out taking donations for food to help met this year's goal.

People could also Feed the Need at Bojangles and Starbucks locations. That's where a special edition of the N&O Newspaper was being sold for $1 and $.75 of that goes to help hungry people.

"It's really great to know that you made an impact and that the newspaper which has such a strong public service mission has made an impact," N&O Marketing Felicia Gressett said.

The Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina will be able to serve less fortunate people in 34 counties with your donations of food, paper supplies, baby and hygiene products.

With more and more people losing their job in the crippling economy, donations are more important than ever and the timing of this food drive is crucial.

"The children who've been at school on F&R lunches will be coming out of those schools and that is actually when we see a huge peak in our demand," Food Bank President and CEO Peter Werbicki said.

The food bank has seen a hug spike in demand this year due to the economy.

"Numbers are rising with all the layoffs, and with the financial crisis the entire country is going through, our friends and neighbors down east and here in the Triangle are really beginning to see the effects," said Allen Reep, Food Bank of NC. "More and more people are coming to us for help."

You can help by giving your food donations to help stock the shelves of the food bank.

Reep said the organization is trying to keep up with the increased demand. Partner agencies are seeing a 30, 40, 50, sometimes 70 percent increase in people coming in for help. They said people who have never had to go to a food bank for help are doing so this year.

"Last year we were the 9th largest food bank in the country," Reep said. "We gave away almost 32 million pounds of food this year. We're breaking our own record. We're probably going to hit 34 million or 35 million pounds of food."

Dolores Mills heard about the drive and came out to a Harris Teeter store in Cary with $10 to help.

"I didn't have the time to run through the store and pick up stuff so I just figured if they took money, I'd just give money," Mills said.

Even a small donation will make a huge difference. The food bank is able to turn $1 into $8 worth of food, or four meals.

"That's what I saw and heard on the TV this morning and I thought, wow, I can't do that," Mills said.

Even after the food drive ends, the food bank hopes donations won't.

"You always think that you have it so hard this or that, but if you look around there's always people who have it a lot rougher than you," Mills said.

Click here for more at the Feed the Need website.

ABC11 is a proud sponsor of the week-long Feed the Need campaign.

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