Blowing Rock Cares has been awarded a grant of $2080.00 from ST Mary of the Hills Episcopal Church to be used towards providing snacks for the Watauga County Schools system. Each school can request healthy snacks to be donated to the program on an ongoing basis. The snacks will be handed out to students by the schools social workers as well as the teachers as needed.
Blowing Rock Cares has been awarded $1500.00 from the Domestic Hunger Committee of Salem Presbytery. These funds were collected through the Pennies for Hunger program – a program where children collect funds once a month to assist with feeding the hungry. These funds will go towards the general fund of feeding families with food insecurities in Watauga County.
In anticipation of partnering with Second Harvest, Blowing Rock Cares recognized the need for cold storage. We put out the call and through grants from Blowing Rock Community Foundation and St. Mary of the Hills Episcopal Church plus individual donations, we have been able to purchase a new commercial refrigerator and a new freezer. These appliances will allow us to purchase and store fresh fruit and vegetables as well as frozen food items until we can hand out and deliver to our clients.
We have also expanded our delivery services to our clients. Any client who is not able to come by the pantry on Wednesdays between 9:00-12:00 can request to have their food delivered. Based on location and available drivers, we will add the client to our delivery service. Deliveries are made on Wednesdays and arrangements need to be made for someone to accept the food or for it to be left in a safe location. Contact Blowing Rock Cares for all our options.
Blowing Rock Cares Food Pantry has partnered with Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina to provide food and services to those in need in Watauga County. Second Harvest is located in Winston Salem and is associated with Feeding American. As a partner with Second Harvest, Blowing Rock Cares will be able to purchase both fresh and frozen food as well as non-perishable items at a reduced cost. We are also able to purchase limited personal items for our clients. Second Harvest also provides grants and training programs for their partner pantries.
Blowing Rock Cares is proud to be accepted into this wonderful organization. For the first time since the conception of the BRCares, we are able to provide fresh fruit and vegetables to our clients as well as increasing the amount of food handed out each week. Anyone from Watauga County needing food assistance just needs to come by Blowing Rock Cares Food Pantry on Wednesdays between 9:00-12:00, sign up to be a pantry client and take home a box of food.
Going forward Blowing Rock Cares Food Pantry will be open every Wednesday from 9:00 to 12:00. As always we welcome anyone from Watauga County with food insecurities to come by for a visit and pick up boxes of food. We enjoy spending time with our pantry families.
Blowing Rock Cares Food Pantry Grants Received 2020
In 2020, Blowing Rock Cares Food Pantry has applied for a total of five grants. Of these, four have received funding. The following paragraphs describe the funding received and the focus of the grants that were funded this year.
We applied in late July for a grant from the Salem Presbytery Domestic Hunger Program. We were notified in early November that we had been awarded funding in the amount of $1,000. Funds from this grant will help cover the costs of our participation with Rumple Memorial Presbyterian Church in the Food4Families project. This project provides both perishable and nonperishable food to families whose children attend Blowing Rock School and receive free/reduced cost meals at school during the school year. Food distribution through this project typically occurs each year between early June and mid-August. Blowing Rock Cares Food Pantry has provided the nonperishable food for this project since summer 2018.
We applied in early August for a special funding grant in the amount of $1,000 from the Tour of Homes Project at St. Mary of the Hills Episcopal Church in Blowing Rock. This year’s Tour of Homes Project had to be canceled because of the Covid-19 virus pandemic. St. Mary of the Hills decided to attempt a special temporary fund-raising effort in lieu of the traditional project. We have received notice that we were awarded funding in the amount of $1,500. These funds will be applied toward the purchase of a freezer for the pantry, which will allow us to store and distribute frozen perishable food as a regular part of the food items we distribute to our client families.
We applied in September for a grant from the Women’s Fund of the Blue Ridge. We received notification on 11/16/20 that the grant had been accepted for funding in the amount of $2,590. Funds from this grant will help cover the costs of two pilot projects in 2021. These are, 1) a trial expansion of our holiday food program to include an Easter meal for Pantry client families and families whose children attend Blowing Rock School and receive free/reduced cost meals at school during the school year, and 2) a trial expansion of the Food4Families project (noted in the Salem Presbytery Domestic Hunger Program grant report, above) by one or two delivery dates. This is intended to provide these families more access to supplemental food between the end of one school year and the beginning of the next school year.
We applied in late September/early October for a grant from the Blowing Rock Community Foundation. We were notified recently that we had been awarded an amount of $1,000. These funds will be applied toward the cost of a refrigerator for the pantry, which will allow us to store refrigerated perishable food, including some produce, as a regular part of the food items we distribute to our client families.
We are grateful for this funding support from within and outside of the Blowing Rock Community. We consider it to be a vote of confidence for the work we do with and for families in this community and Watauga County, and for how we go about doing that work.
Grants Committee: Jane Rogers, Dennis Norris, Don Rives, and Tim Harris
Blowing Rock Cares Food Pantry is staffed entirely by volunteers who are always giving of their time and talent to keep the pantry running smoothly. We would like to recognize one of those special volunteers who has worked with BRCares for many years and has become one of our silent hero.
Dennis Norris is an amazing person who gives almost daily of his time and energy purchasing food and supplies for Blowing Rock Cares Food Pantry. He hits the stores early to locate and purchase needed food items as well as works to establish great relationships with local businesses so that we are always supplied with needed food and personal items. During these current food crisis Dennis is on the road constantly searching for and purchasing items to keep the pantry open. Dennis is also a BRCares board member and has been for many years. His insight and experiences keeps the board focused on the tasks at hand. He is truly a valued member of the board and a very special volunteer.
Tim Harris – Vice President of BRCares on his experiences working with Dennis:
“His local network for that is amazing, and he is constantly looking for, ordering, picking up and restocking food, checking what’s on sale. He only accepts help for pickup and restock, and calls/texts some number of folks to help with that. The rest he prefers to do on his own – both for safety reasons and because he can ‘forage’ for a little here and a little there more efficiently alone than accompanied. His knowledge of the inventory at any point in time and his organization are impressive, and he typically retains his sense of humor and perspective even when not doing so could easily be overlooked.”
Thank you Dennis from everyone at Blowing Rock Cares.
Many thanks to the following Watauga County organizations who are assisting Blowing Rock Cares Food Pantry during the current food crisis. Your help and donations are allowing Blowing Rock Cares to give out boxes of food to those in need. We couldn’t do it without the generous giving hearts of this wonderful community.
Stick Boy Bread Co
Food Lion in Blowing Rock
Dollar Tree on Shadowline
First Presbyterian Church
Holy Cross Church
Women’s Fund of the Blue Ridge
St Mary of the Hills Parish
Laurel Springs Baptist Church
Rumple Memorial Presbyterian Church
Town Tavern – Blowing Rock
Many personal donations from members of this community