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Tighter regulations create concerns for Greensboro nonprofit collecting donated food

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Guilford County Schools is tightening food regulations when it comes to leftover unused prepackaged food items distributed to organizations.

“Prepackaged stuff like this here comes in from the schools,” said Ed Lemons, as he goes through his freezer.

Lemons helps run Blessed Table Food Pantry in Greensboro and says inside their refrigerators and freezers are things they need in order help those in need.

“This is juice that we receive from Guilford County Schools. We package a package like this and give it to a family,” he said, as he continued to go through the food.

“You can look at that bag going out of the door now and it is very well full and that is just for one family,” Lemons said.

For the last five years, Blessed Table has been collecting leftover prepackaged food items from different schools in Guilford County.

Last week that suddenly changed. The Guilford County Health Department tightened regulations which prevented schools from distributing their normal donations.

“I got the impression that I was going to get nothing at all and when I asked for some answers they said it was the health department's decision,” Lemons said.

The School Wrap program donates the food to organizations like Blessed Table. It allows untouched items from cafeterias to go towards helping people in need.

“It's just tough that all at once you just quit. I’ve been out today buying extra stuff like rice and all of that stuff to sort of supplement for what we are not getting,” Lemons said.

The school district says it's working to make sure there is no significant drop off in donations but people's safety must come first.

GCS says they have been working with the health department on fine tuning current regulations.

There will be a School Wrap meeting Thursday to discuss the regulations, along with addressing concerns.​