Thanksgiving is approaching fast, and it seems like we're still eating Halloween candy! For most of us who are financially able, a Thanksgiving feast is eagerly anticipated and fully enjoyed. However, thousands of women, men, and children in Greensboro, Winston-Salem, High Point, and the surrounding areas who are homeless or otherwise food-insecure don't have the luxury of a huge turkey with stuffing, along with countless side dishes and desserts. This has gotten me thinking about what it means to be a “food insecure” person in the Piedmont Triad…and I've’ve wondered what I would do if I couldn't feed my family reliably.
There are many free Thanksgiving meal events for food-insecure folks or homeless people – many churches and community organizations ensure that hungry people can have a warm, delicious meal on Thanksgiving. But during the rest of the year, what can people do?
Greensboro Urban Ministry was founded in 1967 by a group of downtown congregations to provide the city’s poor with emergency financial assistance. In the years since, Greensboro Urban Ministry has grown: now supported by more than 90 congregations, the organization is able to provide temporary shelter for homeless individuals and families, rapid re-housing, and food assistance, in addition to emergency financial assistance.
Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina is based in Winston-Salem, and it’s another organization that does a lot to help food-insecure families in the region. Frequently partnering with local grocery stores like Harris Teeter, Lowes Foods, and Food Lion, the group works to fulfill its mission of reducing hunger and malnutrition in the region. Second Harvest receives food donations, warehouses them, and shares them with non-profits delivering food aid across central NC. Foods donated to Second Harvest Food bank are distributed via churches, community centers, and organizations like Greensboro Urban Ministry across the Triad and beyond.
If you'd like to help...
If you are new to the area, and you’d like to get involved with Greensboro Urban Ministry or the Second Harvest Food Bank, ask at your place of worship or contact the organization directly.
Of course, many other organizations locally support those in need – from the Interactive Resource Center and Salvation Army to First Presbyterian Church and Grace Community Church, among many, many others. I encourage you to help in whatever way you can to groups like these: donate money, collect food donations, or share your time.