On Tuesday, NewsChannel 3 made a $500 donation to the pantry. Beach Food Pantry President Lorna Ernst says that donation will provide enough food to feed 29 families of three for up to two weeks during hard times.
That night, a viewer named Randy e-mailed NewsChannel 3 saying that in his 65-plus years of living mostly in Dare County he had never seen "one person undernourished, starving, or even hungry," and "what Dare County needs is common sense...not food."
Randy's e-mail went on to say "I've seen people with a "caboose" the size of Rhode Island, people who I've never seen without a beer in their hand, and people who hire caterers to come to their home and prepare gourmet meals."
On Wednesday, NewsChannel 3 Took Action and called Randy, inviting him to come along and meet people who had gotten help from the Beach Food Pantry, people he claimed didn't exist.
Randy hung up the phone.
It's too bad, because Randy missed out on meeting Ron Weintraub, who received assistance after Hurricane Irene sent water flooding into his home.
"If it hadn't been for them, we wouldn't have eaten because no one was working," Weintraub explained. "They helped us. We're going to help them. We're going to make sure that there is nobody in Dare County that goes hungry."
He also missed meeting Liz Ranney. She came to the Beach Food Pantry after she lost her job and was waiting for food stamps to kick in.
"It was very tough. I had never had to ask for help before from the government or anybody - it was very humbling but they made it very easy," Ranney explained. "I'm really grateful they were here because I don't know where my next meal would have come from."
Ranney is now not only working again, but volunteering at the very same Beach Food Pantry that helped her during her most difficult time.
So you see Randy, the need is not only very real, but all around you.
"They could be next to you in the store and you wouldn't know it," Ranney explained. "They could be next to you on the beach and you wouldn't know it."
As the new school year approaches, the Beach Food Pantry is teaming up with the Kitty Hawk Rotary club to hold a "Fill the Bus" food drive.
The goal of the food drive is to fill a Dare County school bus with donated food.
More than 11% of Dare County residents live in poverty and the Beach Food Pantry needs help to feed approximately 900 school-age children this year.
You can help fill the bus with the following items:
- Canned Pasta,
- Canned Meat,
- Macaroni & Cheese,
- Canned Fish,
- Dry Pasta,
- Spaghetti Sauce,
- Tomato Sauce,
- Peanut Butter & Jelly, and