Food Bank of the Albemarle has announced a new mobile food pantry distribution which will serve the western portion of Bertie County in eastern North Carolina. The mobile pantry, which will launch on June 19, is being funded by a $10,000 grant from The Franklin P. and Arthur W. Perdue Foundation. This mobile will serve the Lewiston-Woodville, Kelford and Roxobel areas, near a Perdue Farms’ facility in Lewiston.

The mobile pantry will arrive at West Bertie County Elementary the third Monday of each month, with the mobile operating from 5 to 6 p.m. The distribution will reach an estimated 100 households per month, and will provide much-needed protein, fresh produce and other nutritious food to the hungry men, women and children of the area. More than 5,000 people in Bertie County, or 24.4% of the county population, are food insecure with 27.9 percent being children under 18 years of age. There are nearly 2,100 senior citizens living at or below the poverty line.

“Food Bank of the Albemarle is dedicated to providing the food and resources to all those in need,” said Liz Reasoner, executive director. “This mobile distribution, in partnership with Perdue Farms, is going to help us continue to reach our goal of making sure each person in our 15-county service area is fed and has the tools to live a full and happy life.”

“We’re thrilled to continue our partnership with the Food Bank of the Albemarle to expand the reach of its mobile pantry program in western Bertie County,” said Jeff Stalls, director of operations at Perdue’s operations in Lewiston. Perdue associates will assist with the June 19 food distribution.

In addition to the Perdue Foundation funding, Perdue will also provide a truckload of protein to support the mobile pantry and the Food Bank of the Albemarle’s efforts to fight hunger in the region. In 2016, the Perdue Foundation provided a $10,000 grant and the company donated a truckload of protein to expand the reach of food bank’s mobile pantry in eastern Bertie County.

“At Perdue, we believe that no one should go hungry,” said Stalls. “That’s why we’ve made fighting hunger a top priority year-round in partnership with Feeding America and across the footprint of our company. We hope our donation through the Perdue Foundation will be especially helpful for those in the community struggling to feed their families.”

Food Bank staff will provide the clients with on-site outreach, education and when possible, health screenings through engagement with community resources such as Vidant Bertie Hospital, Albemarle Regional Health Services and Roanoke-Chowan Community Health Center.

Additionally, the Food Bank will engage with the NC Cooperative Extension Service in Bertie County to acquire guidance and resources on nutrition and healthy eating. Many clients of Food Bank of the Albemarle have health issues, limited access to health services and are unaware of the resources available to help them gain self-sustainability.

For more information about Food Bank of the Albemarle’s Mobile Food Pantry programs, visit www.afoodbank.org