CORA, the Pittsboro-based nonprofit which has a food pantry there, hosted a “mobile market” food distribution in Siler City, serving more than 125 families over a two-hour …
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SILER CITY — CORA, the Pittsboro-based nonprofit which has a food pantry there, hosted a “mobile market” food distribution in Siler City, serving more than 125 families over a two-hour period.
The distribution site, also called a Mobile Market, was a collaborative project between CORA — also known as Chatham Outreach Alliance — UNC Health Systems and Chatham Hospital originally started in 2019 to reach families in need in the western portion of Chatham County who may not be able to receive food from the pantry in Pittsboro.
At Tuesday’s event, families were provided boxes of food which included fresh food and produce such as berries, cabbage, potatoes and eggs. The boxes also included non-perishable items such as pasta, cereal, rice and tuna. In addition to food, the Chatham Health Alliance donated more than 200 free face masks for the families receiving food. Those masks were completely distributed in less than an hour.
According to Melissa Driver Beard, the executive director of CORA, the food pantry served on average 185 families per week prior to the outbreak of COVID-19. Since then, the need has jumped and they now serve 275 families weekly.
CORA provides Chatham residents in need with a week’s worth of groceries at its location in Pittsboro. Residents can receive the assistance up to six times in a 12-month period. The CORA food pantry is open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, at 40 Camp Drive in Pittsboro. Residents are asked to call 919-542-5020 to schedule an appointment first to set an appointment, though walk-ins are accepted. And CORA will hold another Mobile Market from 10 a.m. to noon on June 23 at Technology Way in Siler City.
“During this time of unmatched demand for food assistance, the strength and compassion of our community has been on full display,” Beard said. “We’ve received donations of food, financial donations, protective face masks, grocery bags, etc. It has truly been a humbling experience.”
How you can help
CORA accepts donations of food including canned goods, beans, rice, peanut butter and canned meats. It also accepts “kid friendly” donations of cereal, applesauce, fruit snacks and juice boxes. Food donations can be made from 9 a.m. until 1:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, at 40 Camp Drive in Pittsboro.
CORA also accepts financial donations to purchase additional food to help fulfill the growing needs of struggling families in Chatham County. Donations can be mailed to CORA at P.O. Box 1326, Pittsboro, NC 27312 or give securely online at https://secure.qgiv.com/for/corfoopan.
For more information, go to www.corafoodpantry.org or check out visit its social media accounts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Casey Mann can be reached at CaseyMann@Chathamnr.com.