I have been making phone calls, writing post cards, and marching as I am sure many of you have as well. Looking to make a positive impact in my community with immediate results, I recently visited our local food panty in Wake Forest, NC – Tri-Area Ministries Food Pantry.

It was a busy Monday morning at the food pantry. I arrived shortly after they opened at 9am and was a little surprised to see a line waiting out the door. One of the workers at this 100% volunteer run organization took me on a tour of the facility which was buzzing with around 25 volunteers who were sorting donations, stocking shelves, filling bags, and handing them to families. The energy and positive vibe was contagious. Greetings of “hello” and warm welcomes radiated from the volunteers and I could just feel that something very special was happening right here in my own community.

1 in 4 children in North Carolina live in food insecure households – meaning these children wake up, go to school, and come home – hungry. North Carolina ranks in the top 10 in our country of the percentage of people who are hungry. These are our neighbors, the children our children attend school with, and people right here in Wake Forest who do not have enough food to eat. Tri-Area Ministries serves approximately 700 households monthly and a little over 2,000 individuals. Over half of these individuals are women. 

As we walked through the food pantry, I was shown an area that stores items that we sometimes forget about – diapers, wipes, and feminine hygiene products. Neither food stamps nor WIC do not cover these costly essentials and 1 in 3 American families struggle with being able to afford to have enough diapers on hand to keep their baby clean and dry. On the shelf sat 2 unopened packages of feminine hygiene products and my heart sank because I knew that was not enough to meet the needs of the community.

Immediately I shared the needs through my personal networks and through our Stronger NC local group. While we are calling, writing, and marching let’s also remember our neighbors – the people who live right in our communities – who we can help today.

Tri-Area Ministries is located at 149 East Holding Avenue in Wake Forest, NC. They serve Wake Forest, Rolesville, and Youngsville residents and are open Monday and Wednesday mornings from 9-12:30pm and the third Saturday of every month. You can find out their current needs by liking the Tri-Area Ministries Facebook page or on the Tri-Area Ministries website.