By Jaclyn Anthony - Staff Writer/ Lincoln Times-News
The Lincoln County Department of Social Services and the United Way partnered to host a food assistance resource meeting in early February.
The purpose was to create a directory of churches and nonprofits that have a food program, weeknight meal, food giveaway or food pantry.
According to Thomas Mitchell, DSS economic services program manager, the government shutdown was the impetus behind the project. SNAP recipients received February benefits on on Jan. 20 and will have to make it last until March. Although lawmakers agreed on a temporary deal to reopen the government that guarantees SNAP benefits for March, another shutdown could put food stamp programs in jeopardy. That leaves community food programs and pantries to try to close the gap.
Mitchell hopes the meeting will provide an opportunity learn what programs are available.
“And to get an idea of where our community partners are as far as food on hand and how many can they serve,” Mitchell said. “Are they ready for this impact for people that run out? For example, if half of food stamp recipients run out of food in February, are they prepared to have this influx of people come in? That’s why DSS wanted to be a part of the conversation. If they needed help with people to do intake or need manpower then maybe we can try to help community partners so our citizens can have enough food to get them until March.”
Currently, Lincoln County’s poverty rate is 12.5 percent, lower than the state average of 14.7 percent. Within the city of Lincolnton, the poverty rate is 30.6 percent, according to US Census data. According to Mitchell, there are about 4,500 households that vary in size in Lincoln County receiving food assistance, or about 11,000 individuals.
The food assistance resource meeting is open to any church or nonprofit in the county that operates some type of food assistance program.
For more information contact or to place a nonprofit or church food program to the list contact:
Kathy Vinzant, United Way, 704-576-6153 or Thomas Mitchell, DSS at 704-732-0738
The Second Harvest Food Bank, Christian Ministries and local churches sponsor Food Mobile give outs at these locations:
Daniel’s Lutheran Church, 3290 Reepsville Road in Lincolnton, has a food pantry open twice monthly on Wednesdays from 7 to 7:45 a.m. to those with Vale and Lincolnton addresses. Residency is determined solely by road signage.
Denver Wesleyan Church, 2391 South North Carolina 16 HIghway in Denver, hold food giveaways each Monday at 10 a.m., Wednesday at 4 p.m. and every first Friday at 11 a.m., by appointment only.
Gold Hill Missionary Baptist Church, 7447 Old Plank Road in Stanley, hold food giveaways every other Saturday from 8-10 a.m., one box per family. The box contains bread, meat, vegetables and fruit. The next date is February 23. The giveaways are open to anyone. A form is required at first pick up. If food is needed between giveaway days, the church can arrange a meeting.
Denver United Methodist Church, 3910 NC-16 in Denver, provides backpacks for kids every Friday. The backpacks contain two items each for breakfast, lunch and dinner, plus a snack.
Lincolnton Seventh Day Adventist Church, 231 Hershel Lackey Road, has a food pantry on the last Monday of the month.
The currently serve students at Rock Springs Elementary, North Lincoln Middle and North Lincoln High Schools that are referred by a school counsellor.
Tabernacle Blessing Apostolic Church, located at 306 Linden Street in Lincolnton, has food giveaways in April and October for anyone in need. The church can also assist with clothing.
Christian Ministries (CM), provides food assistance every 30 days and are required to follow USDA guidelines for eligibility. Food banks are always held on a Saturday. Clients must provide proof of residency, and social security or tax identification and proof of income for everyone in the household. Clients can receive assistance with utilities once every three months at approximately $50 per family.
The CM soup kitchen is open daily from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. to all who enter. The soup kitchen serves an average of 130 meals daily. Food bags are provided for the homeless 2-3 times per week.