JEFFERSON, NC- Ashe County, like nearly every other area around this country, continues to see members of the community experiencing food insecurities as a result of the economic impact of COVID-19. Addressing these feeding needs here in Ashe County continues to be focus of the Ashe Emergency Management, Ashe County Government, and Ashe County Cooperative Extension. To that end, Ashe County government and the EOC have been partnering with Musicians Mission of Mercy, a local nonprofit focused on providing resources to locals in need, to get extra food into the county to distribute through our established feeding ministries. It’s important to note that 100% of these donations go to the delivery charges for semi-truck loads of food from Operation Blessing.
To help feed our community we are currently bringing in two semi-trucks per month of food into Ashe County. Volunteers then work to sort, box and distributing to the Ashe Sharing Center, Jefferson United Methodist Church, Ashe Really Cares, and Ashe Outreach Ministries food pantries
The good news is that we are seeing the Ashe County’s legendary generosity shine in these difficult times. Since April, over 250,000 pounds of food have come into 6,000 Ashe County homes. This food has been critical to continuing mobile pantries in Creston, Lansing, and Warrensville and helps to keep pressure off of the food banks that are trying to keep up with an estimated 40% increase in new clients. These clients are our friends and neighbors that have never needed help before.
Also assisting Ashe County households with addressing food needs is the fact that now that school has started back, children in the elementary schools are being provided free snacks for children and we are working to increase supplies in the Backpack Program to provide for 5 days of food, instead of 2 days worth. This helps to provide staples like beans, rice, assorted canned goods, pasta, and cereal that have been in short supply from the food bank. In this pandemic, the rays of hope come from individuals and communities caring for one another. “We’re all in this together,” Food Coordinator Travis Birdsell said. “This couldn’t be more true when ensuring no one in Ashe County goes to sleep hungry.”
The Ashe County Emergency Operations Center is working alongside the food pantries of Ashe County to ensure that everyone in Ashe County is fed. Currently we do not know when this crisis will end but we are committed to continuing our feeding efforts. We appreciate your help.
To date this has been funded with support from local churches, the Ashe Sharing Center, selfless individuals and the County of Ashe. We continue to need all the financial help we can get. To continue bringing food into our community we need to come together as a community to cover the significant cost of transporting this food here. “It’s important to remember no one can do everything, but everyone can do something,” Birdsell said.
It currently costs $2,100 to get in 32,000 pounds of food. That’s only 6.5 cents per pound and with the community’s help we can continue to cover this cost and help feed our neighbors and friends. Your help goes a long way. If you would like to donate, please make a donation to Musicians Mission of Mercy, a registered 501(c)3 non-profit, at https://www.musiciansmissionofmercy.org/donate or mail a check to Musicians Mission of Mercy, P.O. Box 1364, West Jefferson, NC 28694. Donations are tax-deductable.