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Good Shepherd Center in need of food, supplies after donations drop significantly

Updated: Mar. 19, 2020 at 1:53 PM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - The Good Shepherd Center in Wilmington is working to serve the homeless population with significantly reduced resources.

Executive director Katrina Knight says food donations have dropped by about 75%.

“Seven days a week, year-round we bring in thousands of pounds of food from grocery stores and other donors. And in part just because the dynamic is so different now with folks clearing the shelves, our food donations dropped to about 25% of what would be typical,” Knight said.

Knight says some restaurants that have been forced to close this week have dropped off their remaining food, but canned food and other donations are still needed from the community.

“Folks are encouraged to continue to bring canned goods, paper products, cleaning supplies. Obviously useful things any day of the year but particularly right now to either of our back doors and they don’t have to come inside,” she said.

Knight said they are also in need of water and Gatorade and produce.

In addition to a drop in food donations, the shelter is housing more community members with far fewer volunteers.

They typically have around 550 volunteers, but Knight says many are retired and fall into the at-risk category, so the center has encouraged them to stay home.

“We are operating with a bit of a skeleton crew. We have staff pitching in outside of their normal areas of responsibility which is just the Good Shepherd way. We also have some new volunteers who are coming to us who are younger and not as vulnerable so they’re helping us pinch-hit right now and serving as fill-in volunteers,” she said.

The center offers daily lunches to the community as well as breakfast, lunch, and dinner to those in need of shelter. Knight said there has been an increase in the number of people in need of shelter for a period of time.

Knight says the shelter is also in need of monetary donations that can be dropped off or mailed in.

“We’re just so thankful the Cape Fear Community rallies around Good Shepherd particularly in times of crisis and there’s just been such an outpouring from folks trying to brainstorm how to direct food to us," Knight said. "There have been individuals and companies making hand sanitizer and sending it to us so all those little ways add up to a community-wide effort to really be there for our neighbors who are the most vulnerable.”

The Good Shepherd Center is located at 811 Martin Street.

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