Highlands Food Pantry: Feeding The Needs

Marty Rosenfield

Deborah Berlin harvesting at the Tower Garden Community Garden

The Highlands Food Pantry is a partner agency with MANNA Food Bank of Western North Carolina, all being part of the federally funded Feed America Program.  Unfortunately, with the current natural disasters that have affected various parts of the country, we are finding our once-steady supply of food being cut back at a time when our local needs are rising. 

We have seen a steady increase in the number of our weekly clients, as the country clubs and other seasonal employers are cutting their staffs back or closing for the winter.  Our clients in the county are facing increased food scarcity on a daily basis and with winter approaching, things will only get more critical.  We are in need of personal items, like soap, shaving cream, deodorant, shampoo, feminine hygiene items, besides the everyday food and necessities. 

We have been blessed by an outpouring of financial assistance from individuals, Family Foundations, and local aid organizations.  Times are getting more critical and we’re reaching out as our needs have increased.  I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has helped us during this year of transition.

Thank you to the fantastic and devoted network of volunteers: those that help distribute food on Mondays, those that come in and bag rice and beans, those that stock the shelves, and those happy free-spirited truck unloaders who come out rain or shine to unload the various truck deliveries.

Thank you to our partners at the Highlands United Methodist Church for providing a fabulous new space, rent and utilities at no charge. Thank you to the church pastors, trustees, and congregants for being truly supportive of our common mission here in our community.

Thanks to Mike Bryson for performing his magic and making the move happen as he had envisioned, and to all who arrived on our moving day and made a difficult day so much easier.

Thank you to the Episcopal Church of the Incarnation for hosting A Food Pantries Christmas on December 2 and to the First Presbyterian Church of Highlands for hosting our Empty Bowls fundraiser.  It is thanks to the their hardworking staff and the potters from The Bascom that the event was hugely successful. 

Thank you to Dr. Sue Airy and Deborah Berlin for our Tower Garden Community Garden and to both Rotary Clubs for their support over the holiday season. 

I want to give a huge thank you to Andrea Smith, our administrative assistant at The Friendship Center, who will say “yes” to whatever is needed, and to the Friendship  Center Board for their support. 

Finally, I want to extend a personal thank you to each and every person who has reached out and helped The Highlands Food Pantry in numerous ways.  I hope our community will continue to support our efforts throughout the coming year.