As the 2015 mini-grant funding cycle comes to an end, we would like to take this time to thank our partnering organizations for increasing access to healthy and affordable foods and safe places to be active in Wake, Lee, and Harnett Counties. Over the past few months, we have conducted end of year site visits and will be posting brief summaries of the work being done by each grant site. Today’s spotlight is on Southeastern North Carolina Radio Reading Services, Grocers on Wheels mobile market and With Love From Jesus food pantry.
By Madeleine Eldridge, Helen Herrera and Zandra Alford
Southeastern North Carolina Radio Reading Services – Harnett County
Located in the Telecom Building of Fayetteville State University, SENC Radio Reading Services is an amazing resource to its community. Beginning at 9:00 am, they provide one hour of chair exercise programming followed by two live hours reading the local newspaper. During the program, they include various articles on health, with topics like heart disease, sleep patterns, Alzheimer’s, and yoga. In addition to the newspaper and health articles, they have also read different books, and on occasion have had author visits. SENC Radio Reading is particularly beneficial to the visually impaired and other listeners with disabilities that make reading difficult. SENC has the goal of connecting their listeners to their community by keeping them up to date on the local news.
Radio Reading does not limit their community impact to their listeners. They also provide opportunities for high school and college students to gain volunteer experience by reading on the radio or through other work in their office, depending on their comfort level. Radio Reading has volunteers of all ages, from all walks of life. Voices into Action recently had the opportunity to visit with Valerie Woodard at the Radio Reading office and see the readers in action. We are happy to support them in their good work. Radio Reading is holding a golf tournament fundraiser on Aug 26th with a $500 cash prize, and a chance to win a new Chevrolet vehicle. Lunch and dinner will be provided for participants.
To learn more about Southeastern North Carolina Radio Reading Services, the services they provide, or to contribute to their fundraiser, visit http://www.sencrrs.org/ or call 910-672-1600. To contact Valerie Woodard directly, call 910-797-2944.
Grocers on Wheels Mobile Market – Wake County
Grocers on Wheels is a “mobile market” that delivers fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as fish and meat, to neighborhoods throughout Wake and Durham counties. Demetrius Hunter, the Project Director, started Grocers on Wheels in 2013. The mobile market is a continuation of a legacy started by his father, who also delivered produce to areas in Wake County with limited access to fresh foods. Grocers on Wheels has expanded quickly, now serving members of Fertile Ground and Mount Peace Baptist Church, among others. Their mission is to serve low-income and low-access areas and to help fight food insecurity. They aim to provide fresh local products that are affordable, and they accept SNAP/EBT card benefits.
Grocers on Wheels was a finalist in the United Way’s Social Innovation Challenge, “100,000 Kids Hungry No More,” and when we visited them, they were working hard to raise the rest of the money that they need to buy a refrigerated trailer, which will allow them to continue to expand and to prevent their produce from spoiling during hot weather. If you would like to donate to towards the purchase of the trailer, learn about upcoming events, or invite them to come to your neighborhood or housing complex, check out their website.
You can also support Grocers on Wheels at the Fertile Ground Cooperative Community and Farmer’s Market, Saturdays from 9am-1pm: 1214 Lenoir Street on the corner of Tarboro Road. Contact fertile ground for more information about upcoming farmer’s market dates at email@example.com
With Love From Jesus Food Pantry – Wake County
With Love from Jesus, located in the back of a shopping center at 421 Chapanoke Rd., is a hidden gem in the heart of Southeast Raleigh. Open to the public Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 9:30am-12pm, With Love From Jesus is a client-choice style food pantry where individuals and families can choose the food items they want from the pantry’s selection. In addition to food, clients can also receive clothing, household items, and furniture during their visit. During the holiday season, With Love From Jesus also operates a store where parents can select and wrap presents for their children. Everyone is welcome at With Love From Jesus. No identification, proof of income, or referral is required to receive services.
As a recipient of a 2015 Voices into Action mini-grant, With Love From Jesus has used the funds to increase their ability to serve the community. They have purchased new pallet jacks to more efficiently move food and other items in the pantry, signs to promote their food drives, and fans to make the pantry cooler during the summer months. Their efforts benefit the over 4,000 families that they serve monthly. During a recent tour of the facility, Voices into Action was able to see the food pantry in action and is happy to support this resource in our community. With Love From Jesus has recently expanded their efforts into Johnston County, where they have opened a new pantry at 209 S. Robertson St., Clayton, NC, which is open Thursdays 9:30-11am and Sundays 5-6:30pm.
For more information on With Love From Jesus and the services they offer, please visit http://www.withlovefromjesus.org/ or call 919-233-8010.