Founded on Mother’s Day 2010, PORCH is People Offering Relief for Chapel Hill-Carrboro Homes. It is an all-volunteer, grassroots, non-profit organization whose mission is to feed the hungry in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro community. To carry out its mission, PORCH organizes monthly neighborhood food drives using porches as the vehicle for the gift-giving. On a designated day each month, neighbors leave canned goods and other non-perishable foods on their porches, to be picked up by volunteer neighborhood coordinators. The food is then brought to a central location where it is sorted, loaded into cars, and delivered to local hunger relief agencies – all within just a few hours’ time.
Because the PORCH model is so simple and efficient, its growth has been explosive. There are now over 2,500 residents living in 165 neighborhoods throughout Chapel Hill and Carrboro participating in PORCH’s monthly food drives. Local churches and synagogues, businesses, foundations, colleges and universities, and non-profit organizations are also joining in this growing coalition to fight local hunger. What’s more, the PORCH model is now spreading to nearby cities and towns including Apex, Cary, Durham, Fearrington Village, Governor’s Club, Hillsborough, Morrisville, Raleigh, and Western Wake.
As the number of participating porches in the community grows, so grows PORCH’s food donations to neighbors in need:
● Canned goods and other non-perishable foods stock the shelves of seven local hunger relief agencies.
● Fresh fruits and vegetables purchased through cash donations are hand delivered to 160 local families living in poverty.
● Healthy snack foods set aside for social workers in the public schools supplement the diets of students receiving free or reduced price meals.
CHARLOTTESVILLE-BLUE RIDGE AREA FOOD BANK
Founded in 1981, the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank is the largest organization alleviating hunger in western and central Virginia. They serve people living in 25 counties and 9 cities on either side of the Blue Ridge through distribution centers in Charlottesville, Lynchburg, Winchester and Verona.
In all, the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank provides food to more than 113,000 people each month through a far reaching network of food pantries, soup kitchens, schools, churches and nonprofit groups. That’s more than 18 million meals served last year to hungry families across our region!
While the economy is showing small signs of recovery, many have yet to experience relief and still live in poverty. The line of people seeking food assistance has never been longer and we expect to serve even more of our neighbors in the months to come.
We’re proud to be working with the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank.