Five Big Goals for 2015

We told you about what we accomplished in 2014. Here’s what we’re working on this year:

 

MrPearson_FirstFruitMinistries_ILM_2014Distribute between 50-52 million pounds of food
That’s more than 140,000 meals a day! Our fleet of 19 trucks expects to travel over 500,000 miles and deliver 26 tractor trailers full of food every week. Food Bank staff at all six branches will work with over 800 partner agencies to monitor the needs of each community and provide as much food as possible through their channels. And to do all of that we hope to raise over eight million dollars in revenue and work with over 15,000 volunteers to keep the Food Bank running and expand our services where possible.

 

Look for a new building for our Raleigh headquartersIMG_7073
You may have heard the news—we need a new space in Raleigh! 18 years ago, we moved into our current 42,000-square-foot facility. At that time, we distributed about 5 million pounds of food a year, ten percent of which included perishable items such as fresh produce, meat, and dairy. Now, as you know, we distribute about 52 million pounds of food a year, half of which includes perishable food. To put it simply, the number of people living in food insecure households has continued to grow and as a result our operation has outgrown our warehouse on Tarheel Drive. In 2015 we will narrow our search for a larger distribution center to meet our current and future needs so that we can remain a strong resource for the community and serve as many families as possible.

 

Apples_Raleigh_1.23.14Increase our focus on nutrition
For people struggling with hunger, eating healthy food is too often unfeasible, leading to serious health problems such as obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. For children, the effects of a poor diet extend even further, contributing to poor physical and mental health and their inability to concentrate and learn new things. This year we aim to be more than food distribution centers. This year we will actively look for ways to increase the mix of nutritious food provided through our partner agencies by increasing our own distribution of fresh produce, hiring a Nutrition Manager to join our team, and adopting Feeding America’s Foods to Encourage initiative.

 

Serve over 9,200 children with 844,000 healthy, balanced mealsKids at Summer Feeding Site
Children shouldn’t have to worry about when they will have their next meal. But of the 651,000 people in our service area that are food insecure, 1 in 3 are children. Through our Kids Meals & More programs, we aim to target this population and help local kids grow healthy and strong. This year we hope to serve:

  • 220,000 meals through our Kids Cafe program, which provides free meals, nutrition education, and academic support to kids after school
  • 445,000 meals through our Weekend Power Pack program, which provides a pack of meals to food insecure kids at school every Friday to get them through the weekend
  • 165,000 meals through our Kids Summer Meals program, which provides nutritious meals to kids during the summer when schools are closed
  • 32,000 through our School Pantry program, which provides support and boxes of food to students and their families in a familiar setting

 

 

FNS_EmilyKraft_FirstFruitMinistries_2014Generate 457,896 meals through our Three Squares for CENC Program
Our network of 800 partner agencies including food pantries, soup kitchens, and other emergency food assistance centers represent a family’s last defense against hunger. Our Three Squares for CENC Program aims to help families get back on their feet before resorting to the emergency food source. Through this program we help clients complete Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) benefits applications, helping to reduce the anxiety and barriers many people experience when trying to navigate the FNS program. This year we also hope to launch new support services that provide nutrition education, financial literacy training, and more access to information in the hopes of breaking the cycle of poverty in the communities we serve.

 

*We operate on a fiscal year that begins on July 1. The goals highlighted above are for fiscal year 2014-2015, although some of them will continue onto our next fiscal year as well. After all, there’s always work to be done! Stay tuned for updates as we achieve these goals together here on our blog and our website.