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Brunswick County students get help with weekend meals through backpack food ministry

Brunswick County students get help with weekend meals through backpack food ministry
Updated: Apr. 22, 2020 at 12:47 PM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - The rooms of the old Oak Island Town Hall are filled with food. The place is now the home to Matthew’s Ministry. For the last decade, it’s mission has been to get food to the children of Brunswick County, who rely on Friday backpacks to help get them through the weekend.

“It touches my heart knowing it helps," said director Kristie Disbrow. “Roughly 27% of children in Brunswick County come from food insecure homes."

The mission is the same, it’s execution has changed in the last few weeks. That food went home with students on Friday, but now that’s school’s out, Matthew’s Ministry has been partnering with local churches to be distribution sites.

“There’s a saying I heard or read somewhere that we’re all facing this crisis in different kinds of boats. There are people in battleships that barely notice, and there are kayaks that are in danger of toppling over in the waves," Disbrow said. “We’re here to help those in the kayaks.”

The ministry gets much of its food from the local food bank, that’s where dollar donations come in handy. The purchasing power of the ministry goes a lot further in helping to stock its shelves. But, individual donations of food are encouraged as well.

The ministry also has community partners that help with collection sites. One of them is the Southport Rotary.

“I’m often overwhelmed by the sense of gratitude and selflessness of this community," said president Leslie Walsten. “People have been so encouraging and knowing it’s helping children makes it all the more special.”

"This is different for us, we’ve never done this before,” Disbrow explained. “We went through Florence and that was devastating, but we knew it had an ending. This pandemic is frightening because we don’t know when it’s going to end.”

Site Distribution Schedule:

  • Wednesday 4/22: 4-6 pm Beach Road Baptist Church – 4457 Flagship Avenue, Southport, NC
  • Thursday 4/23: 1-3 pm Seaside United Methodist Church – 1300 Seaside Rd., Sunset Beach, NC
  • Friday 4/24: 10 am – Noon Town Creek Baptist Church – 832 Green Hill Rd., Leland, NC 4 - 5 pm The Leland Church – 1107 Newpointe Blvd, Suite 24, Leland, NC 4 - 6 pm Generations Church -- 4019 Executive Park Blvd., Southport NC

For more information about Matthew’s Ministry, the work it does, and its community partners, click here.

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