In January, St. Paul’s is once again conducting a month-long food and funds drive to benefit Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina. Throughout the month, parishioners are asked to place non-perishable food items from the shopping list below in the marked containers in the Goodheart Entrance. Contact parishioner Elaine Williams at (336) 602-7351 if you need help delivering your food donation to the church.
Cash donations are also encouraged and offer a great return on the donor’s philanthropic investment, as Second Harvest can obtain and distribute 7 meals for every dollar donated.
To provide financial support, visit the food bank’s website at hungernwnc.org to make a secure online donation or mail your check to Second Harvest at 3655 Reed Street, Winston-Salem, NC 27107. Parishioner Clyde Fitzgerald, Chief Executive Officer for the Food Bank will accept your donations personally at St. Paul’s services on Sunday, January 28, the day the food drive concludes and the Second Harvest Food Bank truck will be at St. Paul’s to pick up all food donations.
All are encouraged to help “fill the truck” on Sunday, January 28!
Copies of the shopping list below are also available at the back of the nave, outside the chapel, in the literature rack inside the Goodheart Entrance and at the front desk. Download a printable copy of the shopping list.
3 cans of low- or no-sodium vegetables
3 cans of fruit packed in water or its own juice
2 cans of tomatoes
2 boxes of mac and cheese
1 pound of brown rice
1 can of tuna fish
1 can of chicken
1 can of beef stew
1 can of chili
1 pound of dried beans
1 box of powdered milk
1 jar of peanut butter
1 can or plastic bottle of pasta sauce
1 pound of whole wheat pasta
1 box of oatmeal
1 box of whole-grain cereal
1 box of raisins
A Message from Clyde Fitzgerald
Chief Executive Officer
Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest NC
St. Paul’s Parish and Second Harvest Food Bank:
A Compassionate Partnership That’s Truly Making A Difference
Does it matter to you that children, seniors and people of all ages suffer from hunger – right here in Winston-Salem?
Your compassionate actions over many years sound an emphatic “YES.”
Your generous donations of food and funds have enabled Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina to provide food and hope to our hungry neighbors. Your ongoing partnership in this endeavor is invaluable. You’re making a huge difference in the lives of many in our community and I’m deeply grateful for your support!
I want to share some facts with you that I hope will clearly illustrate why the problem of hunger is so crucial in our community:
- The 18-county region served by Second Harvest, including Forsyth County, has the highest increased need for food assistance in the entire state of North Carolina. Since the spring of 2009, Second Harvest’s partner agencies have reported an average increased need for food assistance by their clients of well over 100%. The balance of the state has increased about 50%. Chronic and unacceptably high levels of unemployment coupled with very significant and ongoing underemployment are the driving forces in this trend. Most of those affected by hunger never thought they would ever need assistance to meet basic needs.
- 1 in 6 residents of Forsyth County needs food assistance every week.
- More than 1 in 4 of our children goes to bed hungry every night.
- Second Harvest Food Bank currently serves more than 300,000 people and one-third of them are children.
- The majority of the adults we serve have a job – and some have 2 or 3. The sad news is that 60% of those jobs are part-time, meaning fewer hours worked, lower rates of pay and generally no health insurance coverage. So, they’re stretched really thin in trying to make ends meet.
- 78% of those served by our network live in households at or below the poverty level, with most of these households having a total monthly income of $1,000 or less.
- Many families seeking food assistance from the Second Harvest network struggle with health issues, with 33% of these households having at least one member with diabetes (versus 9% in the general population) and 60% of these households having at least one member with high blood pressure (double the general population rate).
- We all face some tough decisions in our lives, but consider the difficult choices regularly faced by our neighbors suffering from hunger right here in Winston-Salem: 84% of households report purchasing the cheapest food available, when they’re able to purchase food, to provide a quantity of food, even though they know this isn’t a healthy option. Between 70-75% have to regularly choose between food and paying for utilities, or medicine, or housing or transportation. No parent should have to decide which of their children will eat today because there’s not enough food for everyone in the family. And no child should ever have to say it’s not their day to eat!
- The most recent US Census / other data released in 2017 reflects that the poverty rate for the City of Winston-Salem increased to 28.5% of the total population, up from 24% in 2014 and 20% in 2012. This is significantly higher than the 21.8% measurement for the entire state of North Carolina. Importantly, 11.7% of the city’s population lives in “deep poverty,” having income below 50% of the federal poverty level. This is also significantly higher than the 7.1% for the state of NC. The poverty rate for children under 18 remains unbelievably high at 37%, also significantly higher than the state of NC percentage of 23.2%. The poverty rate for children age 5 and under is an astounding 45%. Winston-Salem is the worst of the state’s five major cities in these categories.
- Over 61% of the children in the Winston-Salem / Forsyth County School System participate in the Free and Reduced Meal Program at school based on family income – and over 90% of those eligible children qualify for free meals because their family’s income is so low. When school is closed for a snow day, or for holiday periods or during the summer, the first thought of over 33,000 kids in our county is not about having a good time, it’s about not having food to eat!
Thanks to your ongoing support, coupled with the support of compassionate individuals, companies, foundations and faith-based organizations from all across this region, Second Harvest Food Bank is leading the charge in addressing the very urgent and pervasive problem of hunger in our community.
In the past 12 months, we’ve distributed about 38 million pounds of food to those in need. That’s over 31.6 million meals – but, unfortunately, that’s not nearly enough. This amount of food is over 5 times the poundage we distributed 9 years ago. Obtaining this food from Second Harvest saved our partner agencies over $62 million in food acquisition costs last year alone.
Our distribution of fresh produce is up over 155% during the past year and fresh produce is the most nutritious food we can provide.
Fighting childhood hunger is a top priority for Second Harvest. We have Kids Café programs, like the one sponsored by our parish. We now have 114 BackPack programs, with 37 in Forsyth County, including the one at South Fork Elementary, long sponsored by St. Paul’s. Our in-school food pantries and summer feeding programs feed literally tens of thousands of needy children and their families. We work with loyal partners to provide extra distributions of food during the summer and during extended school holidays, like this holiday period.
Second Harvest’s nutrition education efforts are designed to empower individuals and families with the skills, knowledge and confidence to establish healthier eating habits and better use their limited food resources to put nutritious meals on the table.
Our nationally-renowned Triad Community Kitchen Culinary and Life Skills Training and Hospitality Residency programs help people return to self-sufficiency through professional training and assistance in obtaining living wage jobs. We’ve graduated nearly 650 students from these unique programs and placed them in jobs in the culinary field. Our one-year retention rate is 72%, more than double the percentage considered very good on a national basis.
The mission of Second Harvest Food Bank is to provide food assistance through our network of partner programs while educating and engaging the people and communities we serve in the elimination of hunger and its causes. We know that food alone will not solve hunger – because hunger is about more than being hungry. That’s why Second Harvest is actively leading collaborative work that addresses the interrelated issues of housing, health and wellness and employment / income, in addition to food insecurity. We’re currently engaged with over 30 collaborative initiatives across our 18-county service area, including leading the Imagine Forsyth initiative in Winston-Salem, which focuses on the Boston-Thurmond and Greater Cleveland Avenue areas.
We couldn’t do what we do without your support. I invite every St. Paul’s household to participate in our parish’s January Food and Funds Drive to help Second Harvest Food Bank provide food and hope to those in our local community who have far too little of both. Each of us can make a difference to someone in need. When you partner with Second Harvest to provide food with respect and dignity, you’re helping to lift our entire community.