Many members of the Wake Forest Community are familiar with Tri-Area Ministry (TAM) Food Pantry, however, many are not. As a new year is upon us and we have all said our good-byes to 2017, one of TAM’s resolutions for the upcoming year, is to highlight the work we are doing, while raising awareness about hunger in our area.
TAM is the largest Food Pantry in the Wake Forest, Youngsville, and Rolesville areas serving approximately 750 families each month. This equals roughly 2,800 people per month or 34,000 people each year. Each income eligible family who visits the Food Pantry receives a grocery bag containing 10-15 assorted cans of meats, fruits and vegetables, as well as 4 – 5 other boxed products such as mac & cheese and rice. In addition, every family receives a “surprise bag.” Our clients also receive frozen meat, fresh produce, eggs, a breakfast item, a dessert item and an assortment of other available items including diapers and feminine hygiene products.
TAM works closely with The Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina, which serves a network of more than 800 partner agencies such as soup kitchens, food pantries, shelters, and programs for children and adults through distribution centers in Durham, Greenville, New Bern, Raleigh, the Sandhills (Southern Pines), and Wilmington. Food insecurity remains a serious problem in central and eastern North Carolina. In these counties, more than 630,000 people struggle to access nutritious and adequate amounts of food necessary for an active and healthy life. Through our partnership with Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina, we can purchase 10 lbs. of food for each $2.00 donation to TAM.
Last year we hosted our first annual charity event and set a goal to raise $10,000.00 for fresh food purchases. Amazingly, through the extraordinary efforts of our volunteers, we were able to raise $27,000. While this may sound like a lot of money, given the numbers we serve, it amounts to roughly one (1) bag of carrots, one (1) dozen eggs and a bunch of bananas per family, per month. In the coming year, we’ll set higher goals, but we’ll need the help of our community to reach, and dare we say, exceed, these goals.
During the holiday season, the community tends to be more aware of the needs of others. It’s hard to think of others going hungry when many families are having large feasts and spending time together. During the months of November and December, society is more aware of what they have and makes a greater effort to help those in need. Because of this, nonprofit organizations receive an influx of donations during the last two months of the year, but once the holiday season is over, many people turn their focus inward and concentrate on making their New Year’s resolutions. It’s time to shed a few pounds. Time to read more books or go to church more regularly. Individuals set goals for the coming year. These goals typically focus on doing better, and often translate into being better people.
Have you considered setting a goal in 2018 to take an active role in the community where you live? Donate the money you would spend on one Starbucks trip each month to a cause that is important you? Make a difference where you can. If you can’t give money, give your time to an organization that matters to you.
TAM is a 100% volunteer run organization. Come out, lend a hand and join us on our Distribution/Donation Days, which you can find on our events page. Or volunteer your skills in helping us in our fundraising and community outreach efforts.
Our volunteers collected and distributed 350,000 (175 tons) of food last year, due to the generosity of our local community. These numbers would not be possible without help from all our supporters, both individual and corporate. In 2018, we are challenging ourselves to do more good in our community – to raise more money, raise awareness of the food insecurity crisis and provide more food and hygiene products to more families in need. Our volunteers encourage you to do more good on a consistent basis. Keep in mind, a small contribution does add up – $2.00 a month (less than a fancy coffee), provides 10 lbs. of food a month to neighbors in need.