Food donations, demand up at Urban Ministries of Wake County

Sherry Johnson

RALEIGH, N.C. – With the sinking economy fueling rising demand for food, donors to Urban Ministries of Wake County have dug deeper.

So while food pantries across the U.S. are struggling, Urban Ministries has continued to receive generous contributions of non-perishable food, says Anne Burke, executive director.

Recent demand for food at the nonprofit, which works to alleviate the effects of poverty by meeting basic needs for food, shelter and health care, has increased 25 percent to 30 percent, she says.

And more people are seeking food.

“For years, we held steady at about 20 families per day,” says Laura Ridgeway, outreach coordinator. “We are now up to over 30 families per day.”

In the face of that growing demand, Urban Ministries in May, June and July received over 64,000 pounds of non-perishable food, up 24 percent from the same period last year.

The group’s food pantry addresses hunger and food insecurity for families, seniors and persons with disabilities by providing two weeks worth of groceries.

Clients are eligible for food once every three months.

“We are so grateful to area congregations and community organizations – both large and small – that have shown an outpouring of support for the neediest Wake County residents,” Burke says. “The soaring costs of food and gas are felt by every household. We are truly moved by the generosity of the Wake County community.”

Bible Application Class, which represents several Raleigh area congregations and is directed by Cheryl Hall, has donated 33,800 pounds of food during the spring and summer, while Crossroads Fellowship in Raleigh has given 14,985 pounds.

Organizations interested in holding a food drive can contact Ridgeway at 256-2168 or

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