Local organizations battle food insecurity in Stanly County

Published 11:32 am Thursday, July 18, 2019

Last Thursday, the Stanly County 4-H chapter organized an event called 4-H Gives in an effort to better help those in the county dealing with food insecurity. 

During the event, 4-H members traveled to Charlotte and visited Loaves and Fishes. There, members learned about their daily operations and what it takes to provide food for a large city. Members also visited King’s Kitchen, a nonprofit Southern-cuisine restaurant that donates all of its proceeds to help feed the poor. On their last stop, 4-H members went to Stanly Community Christian Ministry to help out with the food pantry. 

Heather Kilde, executive director of SCCM and the organizer of the event, said her goal is to provide assistance to all residents of the county who need it. 

“God calls us to help our neighbors,” Kilde said. “Our neighbors are everyone who resides in Stanly County.” 

Kilde said working with SCCM is important to her because it is a part of being a Christian. She said Christians are supposed to provide basic needs for those who are less fortunate. Through SCCM, Kilde’s mission is to help people from all walks of life. 

“If you don’t have a full belly, there’s so many things you cannot do,” Kilde said. “You can’t learn in school, you can’t go to the doctor — it affects so much of your physical well being as well as your emotional well being when you’re not fed.” 

Kilde believes food insecurity is a big problem, not only in Stanly County, but within the entire state. According to her, North Carolina’s senior food insecurity rate is one of the highest in the nation. Of the 40 households Kilde meets with per day, she said roughly 60 percent are seniors. 

“I know we focused a lot lately on children who are food-insecure, but we’ve seen even more seniors living on fixed incomes for food insecurity,” Kilde said. 

At SCCM, families are permitted to visit the pantry once a month for food assistance. Kilde said a lot of people who visit use SCCM as their primary source of food, while others use it to supplement what they are able to afford at the grocery store. 

Aside from food assistance, SCCM has a clothing closet onsite where people can purchase clothes at a lower rate. Kilde said 60 percent of SCCM’s annual revenue comes from this. SCCM offers financial assistance programs and runs two soup kitchens in Stanly County, one in Albemarle and one in Norwood.

Kilde said the best way for people in the community to get involved with SCCM is to donate. 

“We need people to donate their time, talent and energy,” Kilde said. “Things you don’t need anymore can be easily donated to the clothing closet simply by dropping them off.” 

SCCM recycles clothing it is unable to resell. She said the company SCCM partners with for this is one that processes food to be distributed worldwide, during natural disasters like Hurricane Maria in 2017. 

Anyone interested in donating or volunteering is asked to visit www.sccminc.org/donations or call 704-982-7915.

Contact Evan Moore at 704-982-0816.