ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, N.C. -- At the end of Cherokee Camp Road in Rockingham County, you will find an ordinary warehouse. But according to Curtis Pierce, Rockingham County Veterans Coalition Food Pantry chairman, what's stored inside of the warehouse means the world to a lot of people.
"Some of them couldn't survive without this pantry," Pierce said. "That's why we are here to help those people in tremendous need."
Veterans can get a bag of food from the food pantry. Pierce wishes he could do more, but it's tough to keep the shelves full.
"In fact, most of the food you see in the pantry I bought last week," Pierce said. "I spent $500 last week because our shelves were almost completely bare."
Spending $500 places a huge burden on the food pantry. That's why Ann Fish, co-chair of the Rockingham Countywide Food Drive, has big hopes for this year's collection.
"It's an ongoing blessing," Fish said. "It's one that benefits the community."
Last year the countywide food drive delivered more than 40,000 pounds of canned goods and nonperishable food. This year the goal is 50,000 pounds of canned goods and other nonperishable food for seven agencies. Cooperative Christian Ministries, Hands of God, Men in Christ, Rockingham County Veterans Coalition Food Pantry, Reidsville Soup Kitchen and The Salvation Army in Eden and Reidsville say they are helping more people. Fish hears some of the heartbreaking stories from folks looking for aid.
"They are people that lost their income, but once you draw so much unemployment, it stops and there's nothing left," Fish said. "So they depend on the agencies and churches in this county for food."
Since hunger is a growing problem in Rockingham County, the countywide food drive deadline has been extended to May 19. Most Rockingham County government offices and libraries will accept your nonperishable donation. Also on Saturday, April 28, Zion Baptist Church in Reidsville will hold a collection. In Eden the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will accept food donations. Both sites will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday.