Eastern Carolina food distribution sees increase after SNAP ends Covid benefits

Every week on Tuesday, people line up at Paradise Christian Center to receive fresh veggies, snacks, and meats.
Published: Mar. 21, 2023 at 7:25 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - Every Tuesday people line up at Paradise Christian Center in Greenville to receive fresh veggies, snacks, and meats, and the need has recently increased.

“Without this, a lot of people would be going without, so I think this is a great, great effort on behalf of this church for the community,” said an attendee, Gerth Suberville.

It’s a need that has rapidly grown since the start of March when the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program’s extra Covid benefits ended.

“I have to write the names down and stuff so I know that we’re getting new people coming in mostly every week, so we get at least two or three every week,” said Leoria Lathman, a volunteer.

Volunteers with the church say at the busiest, they see three lines of cars waiting to get their weekly groceries. They say the gratitude of each family makes the effort worth it.

“Well, we see from the people that continue to come back continuously that there is a great need and the smiles on their faces and the appreciation they show us being out here giving out the food,” said volunteer Keith Melendez.

The food distribution event is held every Tuesday and volunteers say they usually hand out at least fifty bags of food each week.