HHC: 646 families fed in February
Harsh winter weather has done more than affect temperatures.
It has taken its toll on cupboards. Just ask Hunger and Health Coalition executive director Compton Fortuna.
"It has been a rough winter for people... with the snow, people that manage to still have work had to be out quite a bit as jobs stopped or they couldn't get there," she said.
Cut income means less money for food, and recent statistics back up that assessment.
February marked the highest number of families served so far this year in the food pantry, 646, and Fortuna fears March will be more of the same.
"It doesn't appear to be decreasing," Fortuna said.
The Market program, an initiative that gives fresh produce to clients, served 1,800 people in February.
The increased need makes this year's Feinstein Challenge to end hunger even more important.
The Feinstein Foundation, located in Rhode Island, plans to make a donation to HHC based on the amount of donations HHC receives during March and April.
"This is the fourth year we have participated in the Feinstein Challenge. In this economy, we need to pursue any opportunity that will increase the amount of food we can provide to the hungry in our community," Fortuna said.
The Food Pantry and Market are two of the six food assistance programs HHC provides.
Snacks for Scholars, which provides healthy snack packs for kids, Health Start, a program that delivers the snack packs to Head Start centers in Watauga and the Backpack Program, providing nutritious foods to kids in the school system, all make up HHC food assistance services.
HHC distributed boxes of food to 6,846 families and provided more than 20,000 prepared meals in 2009, and HHC fears 2010 needs will increase those numbers.
Established in 1982, HHC is a member of High Country United Way.
Anyone interested in making a contribution can mail a donation to P.O. Box 1837, Boone, N.C. 28607. Contributions can also be made online at http://www.hungerandhealthcoalition.com. For more information, contact the Hunger & Health Coalition at (828) 262-1628 or email (firstname.lastname@example.org)