Pender schools band together to help those still recovering

Hurricane Victim supply drive

ROCKY POINT, N.C. (WECT) - Dozens of families received boxes of food Wednesday, as The Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina and Pender County Schools joined forces to help feed people still displaced from Hurricane Florence ten months ago.

Items like milk, peanut butter and vegetables were packed in boxes by volunteers and then handed to families who have children attending summer programs at Heide Trask High School or Burgaw Elementary.

“We have to support students, like making sure they have meals," said Aja Winstead, district student support coordinator. “I don’t ever want to hear that a kid is not enjoying their summer because they do not have a meal and families are really struggling.”

Pender County Schools reported that over 1,000 students in the district were displaced in the 2018-19 school year. Eighty five percent of those were due to Hurricane Florence.

Miguel Ortiz-Cruz and his family were one of those families left without a home. While they’re still repairing their home, Ortiz-Cruz said every dollar counts.

“Having food already ready is one less thing to think about so we can prioritize getting our house back together,” said Ortiz-Cruz.

The summer boxes program is an extended version of the Backpack Buddies program ran during the school year. In total, there will be 20,000 pounds of food distributed to over 100 families.

Copyright 2019 WECT. All rights reserved.