Winston-Salem, North Carolina, May 12, 2021 – Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest NC today announced the launch of the public phase of its $10 million Hunger for Change Capital Campaign, the first such campaign held by the organization in nearly 20 years. The effort will support the consolidation of four buildings and off-site storage into a modern, centralized regional facility that will be in Whitaker Park and serve as a community hub for innovation and co-creation of immediate and long-term solutions to persistent food insecurity in our region.
Speaking to a gathering of Food Bank staff, board of directors, and an audience tuned in via livestream, Aft outlined the challenges facing the Food Bank at a time of heightened need resulting from the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Have no doubt that we are making a difference” said Aft. “Despite space, cold storage, and technology constraints, we now distribute close to 50 million pounds of food each year, up from 9 million pounds 20 years ago. At the same time, we are running our nationally recognized Providence Culinary Training program in the heart of the food bank. We are hosting 6,200 dedicated volunteers each year. And we are expanding our nutrition education programming to support healthy lives and healthy communities. Working alongside our incredibly dedicated partner agency network and our unparalleled community of supporters, we are making a difference. Now we have the chance to do more, and we must.”
As Second Harvest Food Bank has expanded its relationships with grocery retailers and other food sources, preventing more food from going to waste and increasing donations of healthy fresh perishable foods, capacity, refrigeration, and efficiency constraints are slowing the Food Bank down when it needs to be moving faster.
“Luckily,” Aft explained, “these are entirely solvable limitations. And, we will solve them, together, working alongside the community of people and organizations who believe, as we do, that everyone deserves to eat.”
“And we are already well on our way,” explained Cantey Alexander, Chair for the Hunger for Change Campaign, who, after recognizing Cynthia Anderson, Honorary Campaign Chair, for her leadership, announced that the total raised to date is $9.4 million, with $600,000 left to raise.”
Second Harvest’s new 139,192 square foot facility at Whitaker Park is slated to be completed in the late fall of 2022. The new food bank home will:
- Support enhanced efficiency across the Food Bank’s receiving and distribution operations.
- Remove limitations to accepting food; and especially increasing amounts of fresh, healthy foods, doubling cold storage capacity for these items.
- Leverage new technologies and comprehensive real-time data collection to support targeting assistance where the need is most urgent.
- Build upon the success of Providence Culinary Training and its social enterprises, as well as explore other job training that aligns with the Food Bank mission and goals.
- Welcome and engage more volunteers.
You can learn more about the Hunger for Change campaign and view a “Virtual Tour” of the planned facility at HungerForChangeNC.org or reach out to Carolyn Breese, Vice President of Philanthropy and Community Relations for Second Harvest, at 336.407.4646.
About Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest NC
At Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest NC, we believe everyone deserves to eat and that all communities can be healthy and hunger-free. Our mission and work addresses both urgent needs for food assistance among community members and causes of poverty and food insecurity. Second Harvest is the primary source for food for a network of more than 430 local food assistance programs (pantries, community kitchens, shelters, and meals programs for children and seniors) serving communities throughout 18 Northwest North Carolina Counties. Our Food Bank’s Providence programs include a national recognized culinary training school and associated non-profit enterprises that include a full-service catering operation and management of accommodations and food and beverages services for Tanglewood Park in Clemmons, NC. Every day, Second Harvest works to address the critical connections between hunger and health, with a focus on alleviating childhood hunger, providing impactful nutrition education, advocating for policies that strengthen families, and collaborating with others to build locally relevant solutions to hunger and poverty. We are a proud member of Feeding the Carolinas and of Feeding America. Learn more about our work and get involved at SecondHarvestNWNC.org.