Golden LEAF Awards Over $500K

December 14, 2023 9:52 am

Elizabeth City – Food Bank of the Albemarle is pleased to announce substantial funding in the amount of $581,100 from the Golden LEAF Foundation to support capacity growth at three of the Food Bank’s partner agencies in Dare, Pasquotank and Martin Counties.

“The Food Distribution Assistance Program is a unique opportunity to enhance and expand the capacity of nonprofits working with our North Carolina food banks to address food insecurity,” said Golden LEAF President, Chief Executive Officer Scott T. Hamilton. “Golden LEAF is proud to partner with the State of North Carolina to leverage this one-time federal funding for a lasting impact across the state.”

The N.C. General Assembly had appropriated $10 million to Golden LEAF for the Food Distribution Assistance Program. This program is funded by federal State Fiscal Recovery Funds through the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Funds may be used for grants to nonprofit organizations to assist organizations in becoming eligible to be partner agencies of a North Carolina food bank or enhancing or expanding the capacity of current partner agencies of North Carolina food banks. The Golden LEAF Board awarded the first round of funding in August 2023 and expects to award remaining funds by February 2024.

“The awards from the Golden LEAF Foundation align with Food Bank of the Albemarle’s long-term investment in our hunger-relief partners,” said Liz Reasoner, Executive Director. “The challenge is that many of our partners lack adequate refrigerated storage or vehicles to distribute fresh food. The Food Bank is working daily to help those partners expand their capacity, through grants and other funding opportunities, so that the Food Bank network can provide the highest quality nutritious food that we can for our neighbors.”

The agencies receiving Golden LEAF funding are Beach Food Pantry, Kingdom Entity Resource Center, and Salvation Army of the Albemarle Region. Each agency will use the funds to build capacity for fresh food storage and distribution.

Beach Food Pantry in Dare County will receive an award of $250,000. Funds from the Golden LEAF award will be used for the purchase of a refrigerated vehicle, walk-in refrigerator, and construction expenses to expand the pantry’s building expansion.

“The Beach Food Pantry has seen more demand in 2023 than we did in 2020, the first year of COVID,” said Elisabeth Silverthorne, Executive Director of Beach Food Pantry. “This Golden LEAF grant will allow us to continue to meet the current demand more efficiently. It will also position us to be able to serve our Dare County neighbors in need even more meaningfully in the future, with a greater quantity and variety of fresh, healthy products.”

“The Food Bank is dedicated to helping our partners grow and enhance their capacity and distribution, and we are so happy that we could endorse Beach Food Pantry for this grant award,” Reasoner added. “Along with additional hunger-relief partners and the Food Bank’s five Mobile Markets in Dare County, we will continue our work to eradicate hunger and ensure everyone has enough to eat.”

The Salvation Army of the Albemarle Region will utilize their grant award of $250,000 to build a food storage facility including a client-choice pantry. Food Bank of the Albemarle is administering an additional $100,000, through a grant received from Sentara, for this project.

“We are grateful for our partnerships with the Golden LEAF Foundation, Sentara and The Food Bank of the Albemarle,” said Major Jason Hughes of The Salvation Army. “Through their dedication, planning and foresight, we are able to build up a more resilient community and fortify a partnership that will leverage even more resources to our region.”

Kingdom Entity Resource Center in Martin County will receive an award of $81,100 from Golden LEAF. The funds will be used for capacity building, including a storage shed, vehicle, a pallet jack, and two commercial freezers.

“We are very excited and thankful to be awarded the grant from the Golden LEAF Foundation. It will allow us the opportunity to increase the amount of food we are able to distribute and expand the services we provide on a weekly basis,” said Dr. Michelle Sledge, of Kingdom Entity. “We are grateful for the assistance of the Food Bank of the Albemarle. Without your ongoing support we would not be able to meet the growing food demand of our community. Thank you all so much and we look forward to our continued partnership with you.”

Food Bank of the Albemarle distributes food and resources to hungry people across 15 counties in northeastern NC. The Food Bank works with over 100 hunger-relief partners through 155 programs including backpacks for children, food pantries, mobile markets and senior food box programs.

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