CHARLOTTE – The Duke Endowment in Charlotte has awarded a $3.5 million grant to Feeding the Carolinas, a network of 10 food banks serving more than 3,700 charitable agencies in the Carolinas.
The funding will help food banks respond to increased demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“With food insecurity challenging so many more families and individuals during this crisis, food banks are stretching to provide critical support,” said Minor Shaw, who chairs the Duke Endowment board. “In this escalating fight against hunger, Feeding the Carolinas is committed to helping people who urgently need it the most across our two states.”
The 10 food banks annually provide food to 2.6 million Carolinians facing hunger.
Due to the impact of COVID-19, they expect to spend between $1 million to $2 million per week on food purchases for the next six to eight weeks.
“The impact is being felt in communities large and small,” says Mike Darrow, executive director of Feeding the Carolinas. “The crisis is disrupting the lives of nearly everyone in some way, but food-insecure individuals are facing particular challenges, and the number of people who experience food insecurity is expected to grow.”
Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina is grateful for the gift, according to CEO Kay Carter.
“The funds will help serve children, seniors and families – the groups most impacted by COVID-19,” Carter said.
The Duke Endowment is one of the largest private foundations in the Southeast. Its work in the Carolinas focuses on four program areas: child and family well-being, health care, higher education and rural United Methodist churches.
The endowment previously awarded $2.5 million to address health care and social needs related to the coronavirus crisis.