Durham's 60 food banks struggle to feed families as pandemic lingers on, mayor says

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- There are approximately 60 food pantries in Durham, and the city's mayor says that many are beginning to turn away families as they struggle to replenish stock.

That's the case at Emanuel Presbyterian Church in north Durham. On Wednesday, the church gave away several pounds of food for its weekly food distribution, but they are struggling to replenish stock for the next week's giveaway.

Before the pandemic, they were feeding up to 85 families a week; now, they are trying to giveaway away food to more than 500 families.

The shortage is beginning to put a strain on the food bank, the church's pastor, Julio Ramirez Ebe, tells ABC11 that two weeks ago he had to turn 25 families away.

"When the food is gone we can't do anything," said Pastor Ebe. "It's difficult for us. It's difficult also for the volunteer when we can see the families don't receive anything."

Emanuel Presbyterian receives support from area churches and the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina, but they say they need more food donations from the community and money.

People who want to help the church -- located at 2504 North Roxboro Road -- can donate food on Mondays between 2 p.m. - 6 p.m. and Tuesdays between 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. You can also donate money by visiting their website

The church is looking for all types of food including:
  • Cereal
  • Pasta
  • Snacks
  • Canned foods
  • Beans
  • Rice
  • Mac and cheese
  • Fruits and vegetables
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