By Brandon Anderson
FRANKLIN COUNTY — Feeding Franklin Inc. has invited the community to contribute to its Fall Food Drive from Oct. 27 to Nov. 17.
In its first project as a nonprofit organization, Feeding Franklin is asking residents to donate canned and other non-perishable food items to local food banks in an effort to help end hunger in the county.
Donations can be dropped off at town hall buildings, libraries and senior centers. They can also be dropped off at local businesses like Sunrise Biscuit and CCB Community Bank in Louisburg and County Line Auto Service in Youngsville.
All donations, both food and monetary, will be delivered directly to food pantries and people in need in Franklin County.
Feeding Franklin began seven years ago when chief executive Kathy Harrelson’s mother, Betty Swan, had the idea of donating to pantries provided by churches in the county. The program began with the support of United Way.
The goal of Feeding Franklin is to donate to individuals or families who are in need of food and are unable to meet their needs on their own.
“We have a lot of hungry people here in Franklin,” Harrelson said. “People should not be hesitant or embarrassed. This is a relief” effort.
Being a non-profit contractor, there are no state restrictions for those who want to help.
“There are so many things people can do on their own and there is not a lot of red tape,” Harrelson said.
There are a total of 25 food pantries to which Feeding Franklin donates. They respond to immediate crises, such as Hurricane Matthew, to help provide for those who lost possessions and basic services in the storm.
Feeding Franklin is supported by the county and town governments as well as farms and corporations across North Carolina and the U.S. Harrelson said that each municipality has a community garden to help support the effort.
Other corporate partners include Food Lion; Walmart; First Citizens Bank; Wake Electric; Wester’s Farm; Vollmer Farm; Louisburg Tractor; First Fruits Farm; Ray Family Farm; Cypress Hall Farms; Lucky 3 Farm; and Foy Mart.
Harrelson encourages everyone’s participation.
“There are a lot of opinions about giving food,” Harrelson said, “but for me, it’s simple: if someone is hungry, you feed them.”