"Going into 2019, we know there are still a lot of people across our 34 county service areas who are in need of food," said Jessica Whichard with the food bank.
The season of giving might be over, but the @FoodBankCENC says it’s important to still give. Here are some things you can donate to help your neighbors in need:@ABC11_WTVD #abc11 pic.twitter.com/K5bRUxkbzC— Julie Wilson (@JulieABC11) January 2, 2019
The Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina is reminding the community that donations are needed year-round to support the 34 counties in our state that it serves.
"We love the push of the holidays. We love the sense of hope that people want to provide for the community and it doesn't stop in January," said Whichard.
Food pantries from across the state utilize the food bank for stock to then distribute to those in need.
On an average day, Whichard said around 600,000 North Carolinians don't get enough to eat.
The year 2018 brought not only storms but an increase in food insecurity. Many who lost power during the storms also lost food. "The storm really increased that for people who are just trying to make ends meet. We're serving 27 counties with disaster relief. Twenty-two of our counties were actually designated disaster areas," Whichard said.
The food bank said that food drives are vital to their success.
Volunteers are also needed, which more than doubles the food bank's staff on a yearly basis. Last year, the food bank reported that volunteers gave 253,567 hours serving.