In 2022, the Food and Agriculture Organization estimated there were over 800 million hungry people in the world.
In eastern Pender County, Share the Table Inc., a food pantry and ministry, held a groundbreaking ceremony for its new facility on Sept. 13. The nonprofit helps to feed people in need in Pender and Onslow counties.
“We are excited to see how this new facility grows to support the neighbors we serve in new ways and brings together the community – Neighbors Feeding Neighbors," said Dawn Ellis, executive director of Share the Table.
It's one of more than 10 organizations throughout the Wilmington area utilizing space to help the hungry.
What is Share the Table?
Share the Table was founded in 2010 as a free community meal to provide supplemental food to residents in Pender and Onslow counties.
The new facility will be located at U.S. 17 and Perkins Road in Hampstead and will have an enlarged food pantry for storage and food distribution, increased freezer and cooler space for more frozen proteins, fresh produce and dairy items, a dining area, enlarged kitchen, and an innovative Learning Center.
The Kiwanis Club of Topsail Island and Surf City Rotary Club have recently received a $10,000 grant from the Kiwanis Children’s Fund to establish the Greater Topsail Area Community Garden in Hampstead. Through community volunteer leadership, the garden project’s goal is to grow and harvest fresh produce for Share the Table.
What programs will be offered?
Client-Choice Food Pantry.Neighbors can shop for grocery items once a week. This food pantry includes fresh produce: Fruits and vegetables, canned goods, non-perishables, cereal, dairy, meat, and bakery items. Also, household items, pet food, linens, books, children's toys, diapers and baby wipes are provided.
Meals Until No Child Hungers. Share the Table partnered with community individuals and churches to help serve Topsail area elementary and middle school students in need. Food will be packed in backpacks and sent home every Friday. The program also includes a food closet at Topsail High School.
A free community takeout meal is offered on Sunday nights to anyone who is hungry or lonely.
With the new building and increased storage space, Share the Table will be expanding its food choices and focusing on healthy and nutritional options, and also will be offering educational programs on health and nutrition, and budgeting.
What are the guidelines?
Share the Table offers a client-choice shopping pantry environment where a person in need can choose the food items they know their families will use. There are no eligibility requirements for any of the organization’s programs.
Until Share the Table's new building opens, it is still located at 12395 N.C. 50 in Hampstead. Hours of operation are 4:30-6 p.m. Sunday, 10-11:30 a.m. and 1-2:30 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday; and 10-11:30 a.m. and 2-3:30 p.m. Thursday.
Food pantries in the Wilmington area
If you are in need of food and do not live in Pender County, here is a list of some food pantries in the Wilmington area that can assist:
Agape the House of Love Church, 1115 S. Third St., Wilmington, opens at 9 a.m. on Fridays.
Catholic Charities’ Curbside Food Pantry, 20 N. Fourth St., Wilmington, 2-4 p.m. Wednesday, 9:30-11:30 a.m. Friday or by appointment, 910-251-8130.
Cornerstone Baptist Church, Food Pantry, 1638 Lanvale Road, Leland, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. first and third Saturdays. 910-616-1381.
First Baptist Church, Leland Food Pantry, 517 Village Road, Leland, 10 a.m.-noon first and third Saturdays.
First Fruit Ministries, 2750 Vance St., Wilmington, 10 a.m.-noon Monday, Wednesday, Saturday, 910-794-9656
The Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina opened a new location in May 2023 at 1000 Greenfield St., Wilmington.
Helping Hands at St. Stanislaus Catholic Church, 4849 Castle Hayne Road, Castle Hayne. 910-675-2336.
Liberty Food Pantry, 7957 Market St., Wilmington, 1-4 p.m. first and third Mondays. 910- 686-0176
Livingstones Tabernacle/House of Bread, 127 Sloop Point Road, Hamsptead, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 2-4 p.m. Sunday. 910-357-2977.
Manna Ministries of Leland distributes from its food pantry at Woodburn Presbyterian Church, 110 Woodland, Leland, 9-11 a.m. Sept. 23, Oct. 28, Nov. 18, Dec. 16.
Mother Hubbard's Cupboard (an emergency food bank), 315 Red Cross St., Wilmington, noon-3 p.m. Wednesday and Saturday. 910-762-2199.
Pender County Christian Services provides a food pantry, 12:30-2:45 p.m. Monday-Wednesday and 12:30-2:30 p.m. Friday. 910-259-5840.
The 4 C's Food Pantry, 15200 U.S. 17, Jones Plaza, Hampstead. 9 a.m.-noon Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday. 910-270-0930.
Wrightsboro United Methodist Church, 3300 N. Kerr Ave., Wilmington, 8:30-10 a.m. Wednesday, 4:30-5:30 p.m. Thursday. 910-762-2583.
This article originally appeared on Wilmington StarNews: Food banks serving Wilmington NC