Food Distribution Assistance Program supports food security programs across North Carolina

Food Distribution Assistance Program supports food security programs across North Carolina

June 27, 2024

The 2021 state budget appropriated $10 million to the Golden LEAF Foundation for the Food Distribution Assistance Program. This program is funded by federal State Fiscal Recovery Funds through the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

To date, Golden LEAF has awarded $8.9 million to support 67 projects from 48 counties. Although the application period is closed, Golden LEAF is working to distribute all funds available in the program.

Through this program funding may be used for the following: 

  • Grants to nonprofit organizations to assist those organizations in (i) becoming eligible to be partner agencies of a North Carolina food bank or (ii) enhancing or expanding the capacity of current partner agencies of North Carolina food banks.
  • Grants to nonprofit organizations to assist those organizations in (i) establishing a school-based weekend food assistance program or (ii) enhancing or expanding the capacity of current school-based weekend food assistance programs.

Food Distribution Assistance Program funds are used to address a clearly defined gap in existing food assistance networks.

Among the recipients of Food Distribution Assistance Program funds are partners of the Food Bank of the Albemarle.

“The awards from the Golden LEAF Foundation align with Food Bank of the Albemarle’s long-term investment in our hunger-relief partners,” said Liz Reasoner, Executive Director. “The challenge is that many of our partners lack adequate refrigerated storage or vehicles to distribute fresh food. The Food Bank is working daily to help those partners expand their capacity, through grants and other funding opportunities, so that the Food Bank network can provide the highest quality nutritious food that we can for our neighbors.”

Agencies that received Golden LEAF funding include Beach Food Pantry, Kingdom Entity Resource Center, and Salvation Army of the Albemarle Region. Each agency will use the funds to build capacity for fresh food storage and distribution.

Beach Food Pantry in Dare County was awarded $250,000 for the purchase of a refrigerated vehicle, walk-in refrigerator, and construction expenses to expand the pantry’s building expansion.

“The Beach Food Pantry has seen more demand in 2023 than we did in 2020, the first year of COVID,” said Elisabeth Silverthorne, Executive Director of Beach Food Pantry. “This Golden LEAF grant will allow us to continue to meet the current demand more efficiently. It will also position us to be able to serve our Dare County neighbors in need even more meaningfully in the future, with a greater quantity and variety of fresh, healthy products.”

The Salvation Army of the Albemarle Region will use $250,000 in funding to build a food storage facility including a client-choice pantry.

“We are grateful for our partnerships with the Golden LEAF Foundation, Sentara and The Food Bank of the Albemarle,” said Major Jason Hughes of The Salvation Army. “Through their dedication, planning and foresight, we are able to build up a more resilient community and fortify a partnership that will leverage even more resources to our region.”

Kingdom Entity Resource Center in Martin County was awarded $81,100 from Golden LEAF. The funds will be used for capacity building, including a storage shed, vehicle, a pallet jack, and two commercial freezers.

“We are very excited and thankful to be awarded the grant from the Golden LEAF Foundation. It will allow us the opportunity to increase the amount of food we are able to distribute and expand the services we provide on a weekly basis,” said Dr. Michelle Sledge, of Kingdom Entity.

Learn about other awards made through the Food Distribution Assistance Program through the Golden LEAF announcements below:

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