RCCCC gets $163,500 grant from The Duke Endowment, plans to expand services

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Jun. 11—LUMBERTON — Robeson County Church and Community Center of Lumberton has been awarded a $163,500 grant from The Duke Endowment to fund an expansion project to help address community needs exacerbated by COVID-19.

The grant will be used to expand the organization's growing food pantry operation by purchasing a freezer trailer, forklift and commercial refrigeration units. Money from the grant also will be used to enable the Center to integrate healthier food choices, such as fresh produce and balanced meals.

"In recent months, we've experienced the long-term potential of our food operation to become Robeson County's very own food bank that will provide to communities across the county and eliminate the devastation of our rural food deserts once and for all," said Brianna Goodwin, Center executive director.

"Thanks to this tremendous grant from The Duke Endowment, we are one step closer to closing the divide for our neighbors with food insecurity," she added.

The grant was awarded May 11 and is expected to arrive by July 1, Goodwin said.

The new funding is part of The Duke Endowment's targeted effort to help organizations in North Carolina and South Carolina address critical community needs resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.

Along with more than $29 million in other grants, this support is aimed at bolstering services and resources for demographic groups that have been disproportionately affected by the crisis.

Based in Charlotte and established in 1924 by industrialist and philanthropist James B. Duke, The Duke Endowment is a private foundation that strengthens communities in North Carolina and South Carolina by nurturing children, promoting health, educating minds and enriching spirits. Since its founding, it has distributed more than $4 billion in grants. The Endowment shares a name with Duke University and Duke Energy, but all are separate organizations.

The RCCCC is a nonprofit organization serving Robeson County by providing emergency aid since 1969.