In the News: ‘Unfortunate’ record year

Our Wilmington Branch has accomplished great things in recent years. Creatively packing produce bags with tasty recipes makes it easier for partner agencies to distribute healthy food to families in need. And sorting 25,000 eggs in a single day is no small feat!

During the 2015-16 fiscal year, the Wilmington team distributed 7.6 million pounds of food – a branch record! We’re thankful to the hard work and generosity of the Greater Wilmington community for all the ways they have contributed:

At most organizations, a record-breaking year is purely a good thing. But as our staff told the Wilmington Star News, in the Food Bank world, it’s a bittersweet feeling:

“The fact that we’re increasing everything we’re doing is unfortunate because the need is still high and seems to be getting greater,” Food Bank spokeswoman Jennifer Caslin said. “Ultimately we’d like to be able to put ourselves out of a job, but it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen anytime soon.”

If anything, Wilmington director Beth Gaglione said, the local team is girding for even greater volume. Perishable items account for about 40 percent of total distribution statewide and 33 percent in Wilmington, and Gaglione said the goal is to push that closer to 50 percent.

The Food Bank does not distribute items directly to individuals. Instead, it works with more than 100 partner agencies in the Cape Fear region that serve clients at soup kitchens, food pantries, after-school programs and elsewhere. Gaglione said the record numbers result largely from the Food Bank becoming the primary source of area food charities.

“The fact that we’re taking in more food still does not mean that we’re meeting all of our partner agency needs,” Gaglione said.

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