With the economy on a roller coaster, and the job market along for the ride, more of your neighbors are struggling to make ends meet. That is where the Eagle's Wings Food Pantry in Beaufort County comes in.
The food is arranged by aisles, while those volunteering at Eagle's Wings Food Pantry keep the numbers in mind. They say 19% of Beaufort County lives in poverty. 29% of children are in a home that risks going hungry, and 100% of their goal is re-working those numbers.
"I can't wait for Tuesday to get here so I can get here and help out," said volunteer Allen Stanford. The Army veteran pulls up a folding chair to separate and bag potatoes. Through a small kitchen-office is the waiting room with cubicles full of residents. They come with bills, pay stubs, and government information. All information the volunteers use to determine who needs the most help, and who has the opportunity to shop free of charge in the pantry.
"Our difference is we're a client's choice warehouse," said executive director, Sally Love. "They must also bring us proof of expenses like rent, utilities, hospital bills, pharmacy bills, that kind of thing."
As approved customers grab a cart and begin to fill it, volunteers continue to stock the dwindling shelve.s They do receive some federal donations and help from local grocery stores. Love said it's the community's help that hey need the most as donations dwindle with an unpredictable economy. That means more people in need, and more businesses tightening the purse strings for charity.
Not all the contributions are monetary, some are physical labor, like the help the pantry has from once customer, now volunteer, Jerry Ross.
"Opening the refrigerator and the cabinets," Ross remembered when he knew his family needed the assistance. "I said, 'Well I'm not gonna be embarrassed by it, if you need food, you've got a responsibility for your family- if you need food, go.'"
Ross lifts a box from the freezer.
"I'm not yet in a position were I can financially support Eagle's Wings, but you can always do it," said Ross. "I'm healthy. I can always do it with my body."
Eagle's Wings is preparing now for another way the community can contribute. On Saturday, August 11th, the food pantry presents "Dancing With Our Stars," a reality-TV like competition featuring local names you recognize. At both 4 and 8 p.m., the doors will open at for the show, featuring WITN's April Davis in one number.
Tickets can be purchased at the food pantry (932 West Third Street in Washington, NC) or over the phone at (252)-975-1138.
Prices are as follow:
4PM show: $10/$20
8PM Show: $20/$40