Save Money in this Sunday's paper

comments

Loaves & Fishes pantry reopens for immigrants, refugees

  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/06/23/18/13/Z57ak.Em.138.jpeg|316
    T. Ortega Gaines - ogaines@charlotteobserver.com
    Erica Osorio was among volunteers who stocked the pantry shelves at the Centro Cristiano Dios de Pactos Church on Central Avenue with items donated from Harris Teeter. The grocer raised $13,000 for the effort.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/06/23/11/53/109JVn.Em.138.jpg|237
    T.Ortega Gaines -
    Volunteer Maria Calle stocks the shelves of the Loaves and Fishes pantry at Centro Cristiano Dios De Pactos.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/06/23/18/13/12xoWy.Em.138.jpeg|209
    T. Ortega Gaines - ogaines@charlotteobserver.com
    Loaves & Fishes volunteers Maria Calle and Oscar Giraldo, pastor of Centro Cristiano Dios de Pactos Church, stock food shelves at the newest pantry site.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/06/23/18/13/iE8DN.Em.138.jpeg|209
    T. Ortega Gaines - ogaines@charlotteobserver.com
    Oscar Giraldo, pastor of Centro Cristiano Dios de Pactos Church, and Maria Calle also volunteered at the Loaves & Fishes food pantry.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/06/23/18/13/1uN16r.Em.138.jpeg|221
    T. Ortega Gaines - ogaines@charlotteobserver.com
    Volunteer Erica Osorio, left, of Loaves & Fishes pantry help Maria Calle who also volunteers, along with Oscar Giraldo, pastor of Centro Cristiano Dios de Pactos Church with stocking the shelves with incoming items donated from Harris Teeter.

Mecklenburg County’s system of food pantries for the hungry hit a new high Monday, when Loaves & Fishes opened its 20th pantry.

In a sign of the community’s changing population, the new site at 3601 Central Ave. is the third pantry to cater to a largely immigrant and refugee population.

The new pantry, which has bilingual staff, is at Centro Cristiano Dios de Pactos Church, a nondenominational Latino congregation that took over the former home of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church on Central Avenue.

Beverly Howard of Loaves & Fishes says St. Andrew’s operated a pantry at the location for 21 years, but it closed 13 months ago when that congregation vacated the building.

Prior to closing, it helped about 3,600 people annually, Howard said, including many who were referred for help by the Latin American Coalition, which helps immigrants connect with local services.

Harris Teeter jump-started the reopening by providing $13,000 raised at an annual golf tournament for the purchase of groceries. That’s enough money to fill the shelves at least four times in coming weeks, pantry officials said.

Howard says the growth in pantry sites is part of the nonprofit’s effort to bring aid directly to neighborhoods.

“These are people for whom transportation can be an obstacle,” she said. “It would be easier for us to have one big pantry, but it would be tougher for the clients to get there.”

Mecklenburg County experienced a 51 percent increase in the number of people served by pantries between 2008 and 2012.

“We were thrilled to see that percent of increase level off in 2013, but before we celebrate too much we need to remember that Loaves & Fishes still provided a week’s worth of food to 105,015 people in Mecklenburg County last year,” Howard said.

The new pantry will be open Monday mornings and Wednesday afternoons, and it will serve people referred by other nonprofits.

Price: 704-358-5245
Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

The Charlotte Observer welcomes your comments on news of the day. The more voices engaged in conversation, the better for us all, but do keep it civil. Please refrain from profanity, obscenity, spam, name-calling or attacking others for their views.

Have a news tip? You can send it to a local news editor; email local@charlotteobserver.com to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Charlotte Observer.

  Read more



Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

The Charlotte Observer welcomes your comments on news of the day. The more voices engaged in conversation, the better for us all, but do keep it civil. Please refrain from profanity, obscenity, spam, name-calling or attacking others for their views.

Have a news tip? You can send it to a local news editor; email local@charlotteobserver.com to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Charlotte Observer.

  Read more


Quick Job Search
Salary Databases
Your 2 Cents
Share your opinion with our Partners
Learn More
CharlotteObserver.com