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Blog

  • Alex Newsome “Food 2 Help”

    Alex

    Food 2 Help will hold its annual Alex Newsome Community Food Drive April 22-29, to benefit Nourish NC.  The food drive is held in memory of Alex Newsome, a Wilmington youth whose tragic death in 2014 inspired the local baseball community along with Nourish NC spontaneously hold a food drive to support children in the local area.  The Food 2 Help food drive became an annual event that has expanded to include many schools and area businesses.  Alex’s parents, Garrick and Brandie Newsome, feel that the effort honors not only Alex’s passion for sports and food, but his giving spirit and motivation to uplift others.  Food 2 Help is extremely pleased to collaborate with Nourish NC to help provide healthy food to empower children.

    Alex was a typical 11-year-old who grew up playing multiple sports, baseball being his passion.   He spent many days at Winter Park Optimist and playing for the Wilmington Waves, a travel youth baseball team.  He was honored to be a manager for the Roland-Grise baseball team in sixth grade.  Among his many interests outside of school and sports was his adventurous spirit in exploring a variety of cuisines, which prompted him to decide the best possible profession would be “a baseball player and a chef.”

    Last year, food drives were held by 11 New Hanover County schools, youth baseball organizations, churches and businesses. In addition area baseball teams signed up to collect food in sports teams and merchants have contributed generously by providing prizes for competitions and by donating supplies or services.  This year multiple locations of Harris-Teeter will be hosting collection teams to accept food donations on April 29.

    Alex’s food drive continues to grow each year and welcomes all who are inspired to participate.  For more information or to find out how you can help, visit Alex Newsome Community Food Drive on Facebook or email food2twohelp@gmail.com

    Take Action:

    Host a Food Drive

    or

    Donate to NourishNC in Memory of Alex 

    Alex Newsome Food Drive

     

  • You Were Amazing in 2016!!!

     

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    Forget all that talk about how bad 2016 was. NourishNC crushed 2016! We have been, and continue to be, successful because of your willingness to act on behalf of hungry children in our community. It takes a village of volunteers, donors, school personnel, partner organizations, nonprofits, and other supporters to feed 709 children in 35 schools. We literally can’t do it without you. Here is what we accomplished together this past calendar year.

    Added 100 Children to the Backpack Program: NourishNC ended 2016 by feeding 709 kids every weekend and over all school breaks! That’s 709 happier and healthier children in our community.

    Increased Access by Adding 5 More Schools to the Backpack Program: More kids in more neighborhoods now have access to healthy food and fresh produce.

    Provided Thanksgiving Dinner for 250 Families: Food is so much more than just nutrition. Food has many social functions and often lies at the heart of sharing traditions, celebrating, and bonding with others.  The goal of our new Thanksgiving tradition is to ensure that every child on our program has Thanksgiving dinner with their family. Every family received a turkey, fresh produce, traditional sides, and recipes. Check out the news coverage here.

    Continued our Culture of Financial Transparency and Accountability: NNC is dedicated to financial transparency and fiscal prudence so we invited Earney and Co. back to review our books for FY2016. You can read their report here.

    Launched our Mobile “Farmer’s MarKID” Program: Our Farmers MarKID is a direct and hands on approach to improving the health of children in our community. We take free fresh fruits and vegetables to wherever kids need us: parks, playgrounds, after school programs, high need schools, and other nonprofits. Kids use NourishNC bucks to “shop” for farm fresh produce. Our first three MarKIDs provided 500 families with 7,465 pounds of deliciousness.  Watch a video here.

    Distributed 42,196 Pounds of Fresh Produce: We packed our kids bags and boxes with lots of fruits and veggies that contain a variety of nutrients like vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. You name it, our kids got it: apples, oranges, avocados, celery, squash, zucchini, kale, strawberries, grapes, potatoes, onions, peppers, broccoli, green beans, watermelons, pumpkins, tomatoes, bananas, cucumbers, etc.

    Established Food Pantries and Supported Community Partners: NourishNC’s vision is to be everywhere hungry kids need us. With this in mind, we have established emergency food pantries at local schools and other nonprofits that serve children. We stocked these pantries with nearly $6,000 in food including 1,700 pounds of fresh produce.

    We look forward to soaring to even greater heights with you in 2017 and beyond. Together, hunger doesn’t stand a chance. Thank you so much.

    -Steve McCrossan, Executive Director

  • 7 Tips & Tricks to Add Impact to Your Food Drive

    TFoodDrive2his article, “Stop Donating Canned Goods to Food Drives…” has been making the rounds on social media this week. We have received several requests for NourishNC to comment on this article so here we go….

    First, let’s start with a philosophy that we believe should drive all giving. The best thing a nonprofit can do is encourage people to give in ways that makes them FEEL connected to our organizations. The best thing a donor can do is ask what nonprofits NEED.  Where these two things meet, great things happen.

    Ok, but that didn’t answer your question. Should I donate canned goods to NourishNC? If that’s how you feel connected to our work, then the answer is yes, absolutely. To make your donation more impactful here are 7 tips and tricks for hosting food drives. Note: NourishNC is not a food bank and as such we have different needs and restrictions. We are not speaking on behalf of any organizations other than our own.

    1) What Do We Need? See our “Most Wanted” list and ask people to donate these specific items. This list tells you exactly what we need at any given time. Quality over quantity: we would rather have a small food drive that has exactly what we need rather than a large food drive with items we cannot use.

    Staff and volunteers inspect, sort, and then donate food items that do not fit our needs.

    2) Avoid Donating Expired Food: Many expired foods are safe for years after the code out date. However, NourishNC does not serve expired food to our kids. Often when people hear “food drive” the first thing they do is grab that can of beans that has been sitting in the back of their cupboard for years. Expired food does not help NourishNC feed kids. We had food items come in this year that were dated as far back 2003!

    Again, staff and volunteers inspect, sort, and then donate expired food items to local food pantries.

    3) No Junk Food Please: NourishNC does not serve chips, candy, cookies or other unhealthy foods to our kids.

    4) Make Plans to Deliver It: We love that you did a food drive for us but having to pick it up can be difficult given our small staff. By making plans to drop it off here you are freeing up time for us to work on other mission critical things. If you cannot drop it off we will gladly pick it up.

    5) Be Careful With Incentives or Discounts: When people are hosting events they often offer discounted admission in exchange for donated canned goods at the door. More times than not, the cash value of the discount was significantly higher than the value of the canned goods-especially when expired and erroneous foods are removed. In some cases it makes more sense to donate the cash.

    6) Fun, Competitive, and Themed Food Drives Work Best: Food drives do well when they are fun and/or competitive.  Try themed days centered around our most wanted list like “Macaroni Monday” or “Tuna Tuesday.” Competitions between participants with prizes and awards work great too. Setting an aggressive goal also helps. See this fun list for other ideas.

    7) Host a Food Drive in January or June: NourishNC feeds children all year-round  but the majority of food drives tend to be during the holidays (November & December) or when the school year begins (August & September). We would love to see high qaulity food drives all year.

    We hope this helps. We are so thankful for anyone who supports NourishNC, regardless of how. There are so many ways to get involved with NourishNC. See this page for other ways to help us feed 685 hungry children in 35 schools. We can’t do it without you.

    -Steve McCrossan, Executive Director

  • Awesome Kid-Centric Nonprofits That You Should Support!

    Do you want to ensure that our community has strong, happy, healthy children? Do you want to support nonprofits that do this work every day? Well then, check out this list of kid-centric organizations that would love to have you on their team this holiday season and beyond. This is by no means a comprehensive list of all the wonderful kid-focused nonprofits in our area. These are organizations that NourishNC is fortunate enough to have a working relationship with.

    download (2)NourishNC: NourishNC provides healthy food to hungry children, empowering them to succeed in the classroom and in their community.  School breaks are tough for our kids. Without free breakfast and lunch many kids and their families depend on our “Break Boxes.” Our holiday break box will ensure every child receives 3 meals a day, milk, juice, snacks, and fresh produce for the entire holiday break. Our kids will also get a stocking stuffed with toys, toiletries, hats, gloves, socks, treats, and school supplies! Pretty cool, right? We think so too.

    You can sponsor a holiday break box for a child in your community right here, right now.

     

    brcBlue Ribbon Commission on the Prevention of Youth Violence: The BRC operates under the mission of connecting youth with pathways to success. Their overarching goal is to interrupt the cycle of intergenerational poverty in our community by increasing self-sufficiency, social cohesion, collective efficacy, and economic stability through youth violence reduction, positive social development, and positive youth development activities.

    You can “Brighten the Holidays for a Family in Need” (by Dec. 9) or make a general donation here

     

    brigadeBrigade Boys and Girls Club: To inspire and enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, responsible, caring citizens.

    Help them with their Stocking Drive (by Dec 8), purchase something off their Wish List, donate and find out more here

     

    dreamsDREAMS of Wilmington, Inc: DREAMS is dedicated to building creative, committed citizens, one child at a time, through providing youth in need with high-quality, free-of-charge programming in the literary, visual, multimedia and performing arts.

    Support a class here. Find out more and donate here

     

    kids-making-itKids Making It: KMI is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that focuses on woodworking mentoring programs for at-risk youth. Their mission is to reduce juvenile delinquency and help all youth served stay in school, graduate, and transition successfully into college or the workplace as responsible adults.

    Check out their Pancake Breakfast on December 10th. Find out more and donate here

     

    coastalOpen House Youth Shelter of Coastal Horizons: Open House is a 24-hour access, 9-bed emergency shelter for displaced youth adolescents in our community. Open House provides a positive peer community and encourages youth’s personal growth through skill building and counseling, providing for basic food, clothing and shelter needs, as well as long-term residential services.

    Mail a “fun day out” gift card (Mayfaire Cinema, Jungle Rapids, Jelly Beans, Defy Gravity, NC Aquarium etc) to Coastal Horizons Center, Inc 615 Shipyard Blvd, Wilmington, NC 28412. Find out more and donate here

  • Hunger Heroes!

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    by Steve McCrossan, Executive Director

    NourishNC is proud to announce our 2016 “Hunger Hero” nominees. A Hunger Hero is a courageous member of our community who uses their superpowers to battle our arch nemesis: child hunger. These nine Heroes will compete in a social media driven contest to see who can raise the most money for NourishNC from July 16-July 25, 2016. The winner will be caped “Hunger Hero of the Year” and will be given a key to the city.

    Hunger Heroes were chosen by the NourishNC staff and Board of Directors. These heroes are volunteers, advocates, donors, school personnel, supporters, and partners of the NourishNC Hunger League. The nominees are Amanda Baker, Jason Thompson, Maureen Oeters, Kim Emory, Markus Sauer, Beth Hollis, Chase Shelton, Sarah Brinson, and Bobbi Brown. See more photos and nominee bios at the Hunger Heroes Crowdrise page.

    Like all villain’s, hunger preys on the weakest and most vulnerable in our community. Hunger preys on our children. It stalks them at home and follows them into the classroom. It lurks in their bare cupboards and in their empty bellies. Hunger robs our kids of health and happiness. It attacks our kids and leaves them weakened and prone to physical, emotional, and behavioral issues. Hunger leaves them with higher rates of depression, chronic health conditions, lower math and reading scores, and higher rates of school absences, tardies and grade repeats. This villain, Hunger, attacks 1 in 4 kids in our community. 1 in 4!

    With your help our heroes will destroy child hunger!
    HUNGER HEROES on Crowdrise

     

    (more…)

  • One Less Hungry Child Gala

    FarmToFork Save the Date 2016

    Join us Saturday September 10th 2016 at the Terraces on Sir Tyler from 6-10pm. The evening will feature a four course meal from Milners, open beer and wine bar & signature cocktail, live music by the Masonboro Sound,and awesome auctions. All proceeds will benefit the NourishNC Backpack Program.

    Become a Sponsor or Donate an Auction Item        Purchase Your Tickets!

    The mission of NourishNC is to provide healthy food to hungry children, empowering them to succeed in the classroom and in their community.

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  • What is a Food Desert?

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    by Steve McCrossan, Executive Director

    Did you know that we have 7 food deserts in our area and 349 total food deserts in North Carolina? Food deserts are low income areas “where residents’ access to affordable, healthy food options (especially fresh fruits and vegetables) is restricted or nonexistent due to the absence of grocery stores within convenient traveling distance.” This means our families often have to shop at mini-marts or dollar stores where food options are limited, expensive, and rarely healthy. In other words, they have to pay more to get less, in both quantity and nutritional value. TheNourishNC backpack program helps battle the negative effects of food deserts by putting healthy food directly into the hands of hungry children. Want to see where food deserts are? Check out this interactive food desert locater.  See the infographic below for other ways to battle food deserts.

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  • Food2Help Food Drive

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    2nd Annual Food2Help Food Drive in Honor of Alex Newsome

    By Steve McCrossan, Executive Director

    When something tragic happens, the hope of everyone involved is that something positive and inspirational can come from it. Out of the tragic loss of Alex Newsome a beautiful and powerful tradition has emerged-the annual Food2Help food drive in memory of Alex.

    Last year the Alex Newsome Community Food Drive collected over 23,000 food items for NourishNC and the hungry children we serve. The impact that a donation of that size has on our children is nothing short of amazing. This year food drive organizers are looking to shatter that already impressive donation record.

    The drive is in memory of Alex Newsome, a manager for the Roland Grise baseball team who passed away in 2014. The drive is organized around the beginning of the baseball season throughout the month of March. This year the food drive has been expanded to include the following schools: Alderman, Blair, Castle Hayne, Gregory, Holly Tree, Winter Park Elementary & Parsley. In addition there will be a food drive competition between Roland Grise (Alex’s school) and their rival school Myrtle Grove MIddle School. The winner will be announced at the baseball game between the two schools. Drives will also take place at Winter Park Optimist and Pleasure Island baseball.  Lifepoint Church will also be having a drive to coincide with Easter Services.

    The Newsome family wants supporters to know that “We were humbled by the amount of food the community donated last year and look forward to growing this annual event. The Alex Newsome Community Food Drive (Food 2 Help) continues to honor our son’s memory, as it was inspired by his passions:  food – especially helping kids who don’t have enough food – and his love of sports. To honor Alex’s giving spirit and motivation to make a difference, we hope you will support this year’s Alex Newsome Community Food Drive.”

    For more information or to get involved call 622-4130 or email wilmingtonfooddrive@gmail.com

    Check out the Food2Help Facebook page here

    #newsomestrong

  • NourishNC: Celebrating 2015 and Planning Great Things for 2016

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    By Steve McCrossan, Executive Director

    I just wanted to take a moment and share with you our successes in 2015 and all the great things we have planned for 2016. We couldn’t have done any of this without the help of our social workers, partners, sponsors, volunteers, donors, and community members at large. On behalf of the children we serve, thank you for such a great year!

    NourishNC added 105 hungry children to our Program in 2015! We surpassed our goal and ended the year feeding 610 children. Sustainable growth is an integral part of the NourishNC strategic plan. Our goal for 2016 is to add at least another 90 children.

    NourishNC Added 5 New Schools! We are proud to say that 2 of these schools were Pre-Ks, a vulnerable age group not previously served by us. Again, sustainable growth is important to us so we will seek to add 3-5 schools in 2016.

    We Added Weekly Produce for 254 Elementary School Children! Thanks to donations from The Produce Box we were able to provide 254 children with fresh produce every week at no cost to NourishNC. Starting January 11, 2016 all of our middle and high school students will also receive healthy produce.

    NourishNC was Voted Best Nonprofit! You voted us the best nonprofit and we are nominated for the crown again in 2016! Hurry over to http://www.encorepub.com/ and vote for us!

    Earney and Co. Conducted our First Audit! We passed with flying colors! Audits demonstrate to our donors that NourishNC is committed to financial transparency and fiscal prudence. The audited numbers reveal that NourishNC spends 88% of your money on program related expenses.

    We had a Dietetic Review of our Weekend Food Bags! Thanks to the Coastal Carolina Dietetic Association we have some great things in store for our kids in 2016. Our goal is to provide our kids with more variety while simultaneously improving the nutritional content of the weekend bags. Be on the lookout for more oranges (vitamin c), hot cocoa and pudding (calcium), shelf stable cheese (calcium/protein), beef & vegetable stews (less salt/nutrient dense), citrus fruit cups (vitamin c) and lots of other exciting things.

    I Accepted My Dream Job! For the first time in my life I look forward to going to work every day and truly love what I do. My predecessor, Beth Hollis, has stayed on with NourishNC as a volunteer and community ambassador. I have learned a lot from Beth but most importantly Beth has taught me about grace and what it looks like to truly put a worthy cause ahead of yourself. Thanks Beth.

  • “Gallop” Before you “Gobble” til you Wobble

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    Gallop for the Gravy is the Wilmington West Rotary Club’s annual 5K Race, held on Thanksgiving Day, to raise funds for charities supported by the club.

    Run-Down of this Year’s Race:

    • The 2015 Gallop for the Gravy is a Certified 5K Race being held on Thanksgiving Day, November 26th, 2015 at 8:00 a.m. at the Wilmington Family YMCA
    • This year’s theme, “The Run for the Hungry“, will tie in with the beneficiaries of our proceeds: Full Belly Project, Nourish NC, and Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard, three local non-profits working to feed the hungry, both globally and right here in our community.
    • Before you enjoy your Thanksgiving meal, you will feel great knowing that you participated in a fun family activity that raises awareness and much needed funding for these three wonderful organizations.

    Click here to REGISTER!
    Click here for Gallop for the Gravy’s Official 2015 Facebook Page

  • Interested in “Adopting” a School?

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    Did you know that local business can “adopt” schools through NourishNC? It’s easier than you think to begin providing food weekly to hungry children in our area!

    Now you may be asking yourself what this has to do with a rail-car company. Well, NourishNC recently partnered with Vertex Rail who, among the many great things they are doing for our community, has “adopted” Rachel Freeman elementary. Now we have the opportunity to not only grow our program through their monetary donations but also have the pleasure of getting to know several Vertex employees through their monthly volunteer nights at NourishNC’s warehouse. If you are interested in “adopting” a New Hanover Co. school contact us today!

    “WE BELIEVE IN TAKING CARE OF OUR PEOPLE AND THE COMMUNITIES WHERE THEY LIVE. THAT MATTERS TO US.”– DON CROTEAU, CEO

    A little about Vertex Rail and Vertex Outreach Services…
    Vertex works to not only be good individuals and teammates but to also create a company that is considered, on a global basis, to be a standard by which all others should be judged. If we are successful in accomplishing this, then we will be able to “do good” by supporting, and improving the lives of our fellow teammates, their families, and our communities in general.
    This is the reason behind Vertex Outreach Services, a program designed to support our local community through services such as school breakfasts, job training and volunteerism. By reaching out to all areas of our communities to foster real and promising opportunities, we believe we can have a positive and long-lasting impact on the livelihood of our people. Through real effort and real investment, Vertex Outreach Services will be a driving force behind our community’s present and future well-being. Click here for more information on Vertex Rail & Vertex Outreach Services.

  • We Can’t Even BAY LEAF it!

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    NourishNC recently launched our Produce program, where we provide weekly produce to students enrolled on our backpack program. Our hope was to provide students on our program with 1 fruit, 1 vegetable, a recipe card and 2 accompanying table-top garnishes on a weekly basis. Now, thanks to a recent partnership with The Produce Box, we are able to do so free of charge! This weekly savings will allow NourishNC to further expand our reach in New Hanover Co by serving additional food insecure children!

    A little about The Produce Box
    The Produce Box delivers fresh, local produce and specialty products like meats, cheese, bread and a lot more to homes and offices all over North Carolina. We bring the farmer’s market to your door! You can choose what you want to order and skip a week if you need to anytime. We help our members support over 50 local farmers and give back to their communities. Sign up today to at theproducebox.com to start getting deliveries as early as next week!

  • Scarlett Johansson Advocates for Hunger Relief

    Today we learned via The Foodbank of Central and Eastern North Carolina that Scarlett Johansson has joined in the national effort to combat hunger.

    “Across the nation, 1 in 5 children struggle with hunger. Scarlett Johansson has joined Feeding America and food banks across the country to help provide meals to kids and families in need. Together, we can work to solve hunger in our community.”

  • Greensky Bluegrass Show

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  • Jim Downey Glass Open House

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  • NourishNC Voted Wilmington’s Best Local Non-Profit

    Did you know NourishNC won Encore’s “Best Local Non-profit” for 2015?

    We are so proud we just had to share this again!

  • NHCCF Presents Check to NourishNC

    New Hanover County Community Foundation Board Chair Steve Gaskins joins Nourish NC Executive Director Steve McCrossan, Shannon Thompson, Nourish NC Board Chair Emily Reiniche, Elisha Roithner, Beth Hollis and Jessica Blake for a grants check presentation. This program is critical to helping our area meet the needs of food insecure populations.

  • McDonalds Buy 1 Give 1 Program

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    Today, Monday, August 3rd, is the first Monday of the month which means its Buy 1 Give 1 Day at McDonalds. Swing by any area McDonalds and pickup a Happy Meal. For every Happy Meal McDonalds sells they will donate a Happy Meal for every Happy Meal voucher to a local children’s charity..one of which being NourishNC!

  • Introducing NourishNC’s New Executive Director
    Steve McCrossan is a highly accomplished leader with diversified experience in the non-profit, retail and hospitality industries. He has held several key leadership positions including Director of Services at the Country Club of Landfall where he was responsible for overseeing the planning and execution of a multi-million dollar budget.
    Steve has demonstrated an enduring commitment to building strong and healthy communities via his work in the nonprofit sector. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Paws Place where he specializes in governance protocols and nonprofit best practices as well as serving as the chair of the fundraising committee. Over the past 15 years Steve has also given back by serving in the AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC), working with the National Coalition for the Homeless, and volunteering in various capacities for dozens of nonprofits. His years of experience have left him with a deep understanding of multiculturalism, social justice issues, and stakeholder engagement. Steve has also founded several community service organizations where he mastered the fine art of volunteer management.
    Although originally from Buffalo, NY Steve has called Wilmington his home since 2004. Since then Steve has demonstrated a constant commitment to professional development and the expansion of his skill set. To that end he recently earned a graduate degree in Public Administration (MPA) with a concentration in Nonprofit Management from UNCW. He also holds a graduate degree in liberal studies (MALS) and is currently enrolled in a graduate Community Preparedness and Disaster Management certificate program at UNC Chapel Hill.
    When not working or volunteering Steve likes to go camping with his family, friends and 3 boisterous dogs. Steve is ecstatic to begin what he refers to as his “dream job” as the Executive Director for NourishNC.
    Starting the week of July 27 Steve will join forces with the community of New Hanover County to feed hungry students through NourishNC.  We know you will enjoy getting to know and serving along with him!
  • Farm to Fork Gala

    NourishNC Farm to Fork Fundraising GalaMark your calendar for NourishNC’s 2nd Annual Farm to Fork Gala on Saturday, September 12th at Windell Hall located in the Union Station Building of CFCC.
    Come enjoy a yummy farm to fork experience with a dinner cooked with local food by a local chef set to tunes performed by a local musician in a setting overlooking the beautiful Cape Fear River. Tickets include Dinner, drinks, live music, and silent auction. Dress is “smart” casual. We look forward to seeing you there!
    Tickets can be purchase at eventbrite.com!

  • Buy 1 Give 1 Happy Meal Day!

    51mPMMdBvWLIt’s the first Monday of the month which means that it is Buy 1 Give 1 Happy Meal day at all Wilmington area McDonalds.

    Simply swing by any area McDonalds today, July 6th, and purchase a Happy Meal. For every Happy Meal sold McDonalds will donate a free Happy Meal voucher to a local charity serving children. One of those charities is NourishNC!

    Thanks to your participation in this effort, NourishNC has been able to distribute over 1,000 Happy Meal vouchers to chronically hungry students in our area since April!

  • Summer BBQ

    Join NourishNC, Goods Hops Brewery and the Wheelhouse fora Summer BBQ, live music and pint night on Saturday, June 27th from 2pm until 6pm

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  • NourishNC Needs Your Help!

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    With Summer right around the corner for area students, NourishNC is in the midst of our Summer deliveries and needs your help!

    If you have a few hours to spare, sign-up by clicking here!

  • Thank You Vertex!

    outreach-graphic (1)WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) –

    Vertex Outreach Services, a subsidiary of a new railcar manufacturing company in Wilmington, has awarded a grant of $15,000 to NourishNC.

    NourishNC is a non profit agency that provides supplemental weekend food assistance to disadvantaged kids in New Hanover County.

    The grant money provided by Vertex Outreach Services will be used for Nourish NC’s “Backpack Program.” That program provides supplemental food to over 500 chronically hungry children within 25 schools in New Hanover County.

    According to Alex Leviner of NourishNC, as of May 2015, it costs $650.00 to provide a child in New Hanover County with over 670 supplemental meals annually. This grant would supplement some of the costs

    Vertex CEO, Donald Croteau, says the company released $64,000 this week in charitable donations to several organizations in the Wilmington community including NourishNC, Without Walls, and First Fruit Ministries.

    “NourishNC is an amazing organization,” Croteau says.”They fit perfectly with Vertex’s philosophy of ‘be good, do good’ in that they are a well run organization and they do tremendous good for the people they help. We felt that Vertex should not only support them, but that anyone that is familiar with their work should as well.”

    Copyright 2015 WECT. All rights reserved.

  • Summer Feeding Programs in NHC!

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    New Hanover County Schools will once again provide summer lunches for children 18 and under at no cost!!!
    This program will run Monday through Thursday from June 29 to August 6, 2015
    If you need more information contact (910) 254-4260

    Program Location Address Program Hours
    Rachel Freeman Elementary 2601 Princess Place 11:15-12:15
    Creekwood South 714 Emory Street 11:15-12:15
    Vesta Village 1902 Manhattan Avenue 11:30-12:30
    Maides Park 1101 Manly Avenue 11:15-12:15
    Bradley Creek Elementary 6211 Greenville Loop Road 11:00-12:15
    Hillcrest 1402 Meares Street 11:30-12:30
    Houston Moore 1805 S. 13th Street 11:30-12:130
    Village at Greenfield 1400 S. 11th Street 11:15-12:15
    Jervay Communities 1088 Thomas C Jervay Loop 11:15-12:15
    MC Williams Elementary 801 Silver Lake Road 11:00-12:15
    DC Virgo Middle 813 Nixon Street 11:00-12:15
    Gregory Elementary 319 S. 10th Street 11:00-12:15
    Martin Luther King Center 401 S. 8th Street 11:30-12:30
    Warner Temple Church 620 Nixon Street 11:15-12:15
    Wrightsboro Elementary 2716 Castle Hayne Road 11:15-12:15
    Snipes Elementary 2150 Chestnut Street 11:00-12:15
    Castle Hayne Elementary 3925 Roger Haynes Road 11:00-12:15
    Alderman Elementary 2035 Independence Boulevard 11:00-12:15
    Royal Palms Mobile Home Park 5140 Carolina Beach Road 11:30-12:00
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    The food is there. The funding exists. All we need to change is the way we feed New Hanover County’s kids. 

  • Looking for a Gift for A Special Mom in Your Life this Mother’s Day?

    Why not sponsor a child in her honor through NourishNC?

    Most of us have fond memories of food from our childhood. Whether it was our mom’s homemade lasagna or a memorable chocolate birthday cake, food has a way of transporting us back to the past. To this day, it’s crazy to me that, while I struggle to remember my cell phone number or grapple helplessly to recall my closest of friends’ names when I am required to introduce them, the merest sniff of pound cake can bring back some of my happiest childhood memories from over 15 years ago. But through my work with NourishNC, I have learned of so many children who simply do not have access to the most basic and fundamental need in their lives, food.

    This Mother’s Day, make a gift of $90 to NourishNC in honor of a mom in your life. This donation will be used to supply 3 meals and a snack every day for the 70 days of Summer Break to a chronically hungry child in New Hanover County. This gift will not only provide a basic need to a local child but will help moms in our area allocate their limited funds to their families other basic needs, including their own. When making your donation be sure to print out a NourishNC Mother’s Day card which can be found here.

  • Easy and Delicious Recipes

    And guess what, all of the ingredients are included in NourishNC’s summer food boxes!

    As you all know, we are passionate about collecting food and distributing it to children here at NourishNC. But there are certainly limitations to what we can collect. Fresh vegetables/meat are not an option and often times it seems hard to put together appetizing and wholesome meals. I decided to list some of my personal favorite dishes and low and behold, many of them can be made with the ingredients provided in the summer food boxes.
    If you have any recipes using the ingredients below, feel free to shoot me an e-mail (kgw5736@uncw.edu<mailto:kgw5736@uncw.edu>) and I can feature you in another post!


    51YubL3hHdL._SY300_Stewed tomatoes & chicken over rice
    1 can of pre-cooked shredded chicken or canned chicken
    1 large can of pre-cooked tomatoes
    1 cup of dry rice
    2 cups of water
    1 tsp of olive oil
    Mixed vegetables of preference
    Salt, pepper, and garlic powder/spices to taste

    Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat for one minute, then add garlic powder and other spices. Immediately add mixed vegetables and cook until done (about five minutes). Next, add the un-drained can of tomatoes, cover and simmer for five minutes.
    While that is reducing, begin to cook rice per package directions. Drain the chicken, add to the tomato mixture, cover and simmer for eight minutes.
    Once the rice is cooked, transfer it to a serving dish and pour tomato mixture on top. Enjoy!

     

    Screenshot 2015-04-29 10.26.58Savory Grit Cakes
    6 packets of grits, cooked and cooled
    1/2 cup of flour
    3/4 cup of milk
    1 (12 ounce) can of crushed tomatoes
    Salt, pepper, garlic powder and cayenne pepper to taste
    1/4 cups of vegetable oil

    The first step is cooking the grits together on a stovetop. After that, mix in garlic powder, cayenne pepper and any other spices. Spread this mixture on a large baking sheet and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Once cooled, take a biscuit cutter (or top of a glass!) and cut out the grit mix.
    Place the flour in a small bowl with 1 tbsp. salt and pepper and mix well. Coat the grit cakes in this mixture.
    Heat a skillet to medium heat and add the oil. When the pan is hot, add in the grit cakes and brown both sides. Remove and place on a paper towel to absorb the grease.
    Using the remaining oil in the pan, add two tbsp. of flour and whisk briskly for one minute. Add the milk and stir until it boils. Then, add the tomatoes and return the mixture to a boil. Adjust flavor with salt and pepper as needed.
    Assemble the dish by pouring the tomato gravy over individual cakes and voila, dinner is served!

  • Gwyneth Paltrow’s Spectacular SNAP Adventure

    #FoodBankNYCChallenge

    If you know who Gwyneth Paltrow is, you probably have an opinion about her. She is a well-known actress and author. She is also successful, affluent and wants to share how she lives with the world. Her lifestyle website “Goop” features a shopping section including $1,200 shirts and lower east side gallery guides. What you may not know is that last week, she attempted the #FoodBankNYCChallenge. This means she was allocating 29$ for herself to buy groceries for a week. If also means that this would be a drastic change and she cited herself that she was “Dubious that I could complete the week.” You can see a photo of what she bought below. It was taken directly from her Twitter page (@GwynethPaltrow).

    51YubL3hHdL._SY300_There are many positive and negative reverberations from this photograph and the attempt. I say attempt because she admitted that she only lasted four days and had to buy chicken, fresh vegetables and some licorice. First of all she made a donation to the NYC food bank. This alone was probably a hefty contribution and will influence others to donate as well. She also failed the challenge, which is actually positive because it demonstrates how difficult it is for people relying on SNAP benefits. She nominated other people after her challenge and helped in the initiation of a chain. This challenge could spread like the ALS ice bucket challenge. And while that endeavor received a lot of backlash, it still raised 220 million for ALS! She is also promoting wholesome, healthy food options that can be bought on SNAP. We can only hope that this challenge reaches people and invited them to investigate the realities of SNAP benefits, poverty and malnutrition.

    There are also a fair amount of criticisms about Gwyneth Paltrow’s take on the #FoodBankNYCChallenge. She bought some items that are probably not realistic for someone on such a limited budget. For example, there are seven limes shown and fresh garlic, cilantro and corn. Lime juice, minced garlic, dried cilantro and canned corn can go a lot farther and store longer. She also explained that her children loved one of the recipes, but the $29 is only for one person. If she was cooking for her children, then she would have more money allocated to her in real life and in the challenge. One could also say she has discriminatory views on how people eat based on quotes from her past. She said “I would rather smoke crack than eat cheese out of a tin” and “I would rather die than let my kid eat Cup-A-Soup.” Most people have eaten these products and they are the same products that often show up in food banks. Unfortunately, she also told ELLE UK that “I am who I am. I can’t pretend to be somebody that makes $25,000 a year.”  Yet here she is pretending to make even less than that.

    Overall, maybe she was not the “best” celebrity to take the challenge but at least she took it and at least she is trying to influence others. It has led to me researching it and to you reading about it. She has some weird thoughts but her heart is in the right place and she has personally inspired me!

  • How to get involved

    There are so many exciting ways for you to make a difference in the lives of New Hanover children!

    By now I am sure you know that NourishNC happily accepts food donations. But there are a lot of different ways for you to impact the community! You can come to the warehouse and help us count the food so that we know what we have and what we need. There are also public bag packings where 20 community members come together to separate and fill the bags for the children.  And if you have a large car, you can help NourishNC to deliver the bags to the schools!

    We are always looking for people to assist in fundraisers and food drives. But if you have a cause close to your heart, or if you and a group just want to make a difference, then you are encouraged to start your own! Just give us a call at (910) 465-0995 and ask for Alex.

    We love to partner with local businesses/events and we have found that Wilmington likes to take care of its own! So please recommend us to business owners or event organizers if they are looking for an opportunity to give back to the community. A great example of this partnership is the Wilmington Wine and Food Festival. They have named us as one of the beneficiaries of their event, and in return, we are recruiting volunteers for their festival! If you are interested, you can sign up via their website.

    Another quirky way to get involved with NourishNC is to attend Rate a Record at Slice of Live downtown. This is an event created by 98.3 The Penguin and NourishNC and it happens every Tuesday from 5:50-7:30pm. This event lets the participants influence what music get on the air waves. At Slice of Life, The Penguin plays potential music, and there is an open discussion and ratings that follow. You can also register to win prizes each week. The best part of the event are the percentages. What does that mean? Within the event time frame, all participants receive 10% off their total bill and % of the bill is donated to NourishNC!

    As you can see, there are ways to participate ranging from delivering the food to the schools to eating pizza at your favorite spot downtown. Now that you know about the fun ways to get involved, that doesn’t mean we still aren’t interested in food donations!

  • Sponsor a child for Summer Break through NourishNC!

    Screenshot 2015-04-10 12.41.48

    Anyone can sponsor a child through NourishNC for Summer Break for a donation of $90. This donation will provide a child on our program with 3 meals and 2 snacks a day for the 70 days of summer break.

  • Food and Nutrition Services

    …Or what you might know as food stamps

    Everyone has heard of food stamps. But not many people know much about them, unless they receive them. For example, something as simple as the fact that it is called Food and Nutrition Services now. And even if you are currently benefitting from food stamps, you might not know all of the details!

    FNS (Food and Nutritional Services) has a long history of providing individuals and families in need with the ability to buy wholesome food products. That means that there are certainly exclusions to what can be bought. Tobacco products, pet food, paper products, soap products and alcohol are not eligible to be purchased with FNS benefits. According to Emily Kraft. Food and Nutrition Services Coordinator with the Food Bank of Central and Eastern NC, “prepared foods cannot be purchased with FNS benefits, such as rotisserie chickens, cooked chicken wings, hot pizza or food and soup bars.  It would make sense for people to be able to buy those types of food with their benefits, but unfortunately, they are not allowed.  Many families think they can buy a hot meal with benefits and are surprised to learn, at the register, that they cannot do that.” In addition to the grocery store items not aforementioned, seeds to grow fruits and vegetables can be bought as well as infant formula. Items such as soft drinks, candy, and cookies are allowed and luxury items like steak and seafood are also eligible for purchase with the benefits. Each individual or household is allowed to decide what to purchase within these guidelines.

    The FNS benefits are now on a debit card. This makes the assistance easier to use and decreases the possibility of fraud. It also reduces the amount of wasted benefits due to lost or damaged vouchers. The benefits from one month can roll over for up to 12 months, which allows people to plan for different events and times in their lives. For example, if they choose to plant a garden, they would have food during the warmer months and they would be able to save their FNS for the winter. Or if a family has a daughter and her birthday is in February, the parents may choose to spend less in January and buy her a cake in February.

    It is necessary to have a social security number to apply for FNS, but some immigrants are eligible if they live in the United States for enough time (generally five years). And even if you personally are not applicable for FNS, someone in your household may be able to. For example, if you are an immigrant parent with a child who is a legal immigrant or citizen, you may apply for your child without having to discuss your status. Receiving FNS does not hurt your chance of applying for US citizenship.

    In recent years, applying for FNS has become easier. You may apply if you are employed, unemployed, have a home, car and land, have a retirement plan and if you do not have an address. This opens up the opportunity for non-traditional demographics.

    Did you know that FNS assistance is available through your local Food Bank?  Call or email Emily Kraft at ekraft@foodbankcenc.org or (910) 251-1465 to learn more about FNS or apply for benefits.

    If you have any specific questions, you may call the Department of Social Services (DSS) at 1-866-719-0141.

    If you are in need of food while you are waiting on your application to be processed, you may contact a local food bank.

    Sources:
    http://fns4nc.org/frequently-asked-questions/

    Written by Kaylor Wells

  • FOOD2HELP

    Alex Newsome was a young boy with a passion for sports, cooking and enjoying food. It is now only fitting that his baseball team is organizing a food drive to remember him.

    1491768_369641623244452_3081660709984377422_n

    The name FOOD2HELP seems relatively straightforward, but there is meaning behind the phrase. A boy named Alex loved playing baseball, and he wore a number 2 on the back of his jersey. He is no longer with us, but his friends do not plan to forget him. The boys on a team that played baseball with Alex at Winter Park Optimist decided to remember him in an impactful way. They came up with the idea of a community food drive to support other children in the Wilmington area and they hope that it becomes an annual event in the community. The participation in this event is inspiring and will positively affect so many children and their families. In New Hanover County, 1 in 4 students go hungry every day and sometimes, the only meals a child receives are at school. It is easy to see how widespread the effects of this food drive will be.
    The team behind it all is the Wilmington Pride Baseball team. They started this community food drive to honor  Alex. Alex’s parents chose NourishNC as the non-profit to receive the donations, and we will use these immense resources to feed as many hungry New Hanover children as possible. The food drive initiated at Winter Park Optimist, Myrtle Grove and Roland Grise Middle School as well as Parsley Elementary School and Lifepoint Church. There was even a competition between two rival middle schools, Roland Grise and Myrtle Grove, to see who could raise the most food. The competition ended, but the students were so passionate that they asked for more time for collection. The last of the donations were picked up on March 26th and they are still being counted. We will release the winner in next week’s blog update.
    Many businesses have been unbelievably generous by acting as drop off locations, providing prizes for competitions, designing promotional resources and donating supplies. A few of the charitable businesses involved are Incredible Pizza, Coastal Athletics,  Stadium Batting Cages, Coastal Cupcakes, Port City Java, Post 10 Baseball, Hoggard Baseball, New Hanover Baseball, Harris Teeter, McDonalds, Jungle Rapids, UNCW, Wilmington Sharks, Daryl Strickland, Stefanie Rankin, 3906 Design  Lifepoint Church, LaCroix Veterinary Hospital and Wilmington Orthotics and Prosthetics. The overwhelming support from the companies has enabled this event to exponentially grow and we would like to thank every business that participated.
    ancfd
    There is a Facebook page updating information about the drive frequently (Alex Newsome Community Food Drive). The hashtag #newsomestrong is also being used on social media platforms to tag conversation of the topic. If you would like to help process the items received then you can sign up for a date here.
    When something tragic happens, the hope of everyone involved is that something positive and inspirational can come from it. In this scenario, something charitable and hopefully enduring has come from a loss.
    Written by Kaylor Gray Wells
  • Summer Packing Volunteers

    IMG_2103 (1)

    Looking for a fun way to give back to your community? Why not sign-up to volunteer with NourishNC?
    NourishNC’s online volunteer calendar for the remainder of the 2014-2015 school year is posted with several opportunities just waiting to be filled!

    We have also reworked our summer box packings in hopes of accomodating more community volunteers. Aside from the posted public dates, we are also open to interested groups coming in and packing during the day on a smaller scale for a particular school. If you have a group, date and time in mind, please contact us and we will get you on the books!

  • Birthdays that Benefit

    October 21st, 2014
    By: Amy Davis

    Would your child offer to give up birthday gifts in order to help feed the hungry?  You’d be surprised at the answer.

    If you look around social media, the news, or perhaps even in your mailbox, you’ll see that there are more and more children asking to forgo birthday gifts in order to benefit someone else. Food drives for people and animals, toys for children in need, shoes, coats, and clothing for people less fortunate than they are, the list goes on. My heart sings every time I see this! I admire and appreciate them for what they do, who they are, and the impact they seek to make on our world. And I am grateful for the people in their life who may have influenced such selflessness at an age when humans are less inclined to be so aware of the needs of others. I imagine that these children will make a beautifully positive difference as they grow into adults with even better ideas and resources to change things.

    FoodDrive2

    My son and I held a food drive for his 4th birthday, as well. And while the story might be nicer to hear if you thought he came up with the idea himself, our food drive happened for a slightly different reason. For us, this was a conversation starter about something important. It was a memorable month-long event that I hope will stick with our son for a long time, and something I hope he will feel good about. Something that I hope he looks back on in the future to say: “I remember collecting all that food…and that mommy explained that it was for kids who don’t have enough food to eat…I remember that day in the picture when we gave it all to the nice lady at the warehouse…” I hope he remembers, and I hope this helps plant the seed in his heart to think of others and to be kind when he can. He may not totally get it now, but he will someday. My hope is that he will follow the good examples that the people in his life model around him, and I believe including him in those examples is very important.

    Sure, he blew out candles, had some cake and icecream, and balloons all through the house when he woke up. He got presents. He got a few things from his dad and me…and he has two sets of grandparents who find a certain kind of unmatched joy from having their grandson open gifts they’ve picked out for his birthday. He knew it was a special day to celebrate the beautiful day he was born. We had a great time.We don’t have a lot of money, but we have all that really counts. And we are certainly very fortunate compared to someone who isn’t sure where their next meal is coming from. I’ll admit, I wouldn’t have been able to afford a huge birthday party with all our friends and family. But we could afford to make a wonderful memory by showing our son the joy of helping others while still including our friends and family. There was joy on the faces of those who participated in the drive, and we certainly felt it, too. And although it might not be joy that the recipients will feel, we hope that we are able to at least help provide some kind of relief from some of the painful things children feel when they are hungry.

    FoodDrive1

    One thing I learned, having never organized a food drive before, is that helping others does not require having money to spare. There are other ways if you truly think about it. For us, it was simple…I posted an event on my Facebook page, explained what we were doing for our son’s birthday, and what NourishNC does for the children in New Hanover County. I “invited” my closest friends and family. Since I was unable to have an actual party at my home for this, I picked up donations from people in town, and others sent me money to buy groceries for them. We ended up collecting about (I’m guessing) $400 worth of food over a period of a month. We would never have been able to give that much food on our own, so we were very excited about the turnout. You might be surprised how many people there are who want to help just like you do. They just need a reason and an opportunity, and you can provide it to them by hosting a drive for those who need help.

    We would like to thank NourishNC and all of the volunteers for your compassion and all that you do for the children in our community. We appreciate that you recognize that this issue is larger than hunger alone. We thank you for understanding and teaching how going hungry affects children far beyond their stomachs, but also their thinking and learning abilities, emotional regulation, self-image and their interactions with others. We will continue to help raise awareness of this issue, its true effects, and your presence as part of a solution.

    FoodDrive3

    There were many smiles on my son’s face related to this experience, and I loved every minute of it too. We will probably do it again…maybe every year if he wants to. Either way, we want to help support your mission, in some way or another, always.

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