BEAR CREEK — Chatham Outreach Alliance’s summer “SNACK!” program — Summer Nutrition Assistance for Chatham Kids — hosted food distribution events at 10 different sites throughout the …
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BEAR CREEK — Chatham Outreach Alliance’s summer “SNACK!” program — Summer Nutrition Assistance for Chatham Kids — hosted food distribution events at 10 different sites throughout the summer. The program wrapped up earlier this month with a final distribution at the Community Center on Mays Chapel Road in Bear Creek, where volunteers from the Union Taylors Community Action Association, the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office and Chatham Trades provided food for about 700 people.
Fresh and shelf-stable foods were distributed with help from the Food Bank of Central and Eastern N.C., Dean Hawkins and Christina Boelkins of CORA, Michael Cotten, the branch director for the Food Bank, and workers from Taylors Chapel Church, Union Grove AME Zion and Mays Chapel Church, along with Jesse Ellerbe, the president of the Union Taylors Community Action Association.
Organizer Annie Taylor McCrimmon said that about eight years ago, the Community Center in Bear Creek was approved by CORA Food Bank to be a distribution site.
“This distribution season, we approached CORA about expansion, about moving our site from Taylors Chapel Church to our community center to accommodate more families,” she said. “Their approval allowed us to approach the pastor of Taylors Chapel Church, Rev. Eugene Staton, with the proposal to make the offer to Union Grove Church and Mays Chapel Church to join us in this year’s distribution.”
The collaboration meant volunteer numbers increased exponentially, McCrimmon said.
“In year’s past, many times there would only be about four adults and a passel of kids carrying food items into the church,” she said. “This year, Captain Steve Maynor and officers from the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office made the heavy lifting so much lighter. Not only in terms of physically lifting boxes but also easing the burden on the small number of volunteers who have been vested in this worthwhile project for years. To be able to look around and see all these new arms willing to help carry what needed to be lifted was affirming!”