Action Pathways, an anti-poverty organization, has a variety of programs geared towards holistically helping those in need find their path out of poverty to become self-sufficient. Our programs include Head Start, ASPIRE Self Sufficiency Program, Consumer Credit Counseling Services, CHODO, Weatherization Assistance Program, and of course Second Harvest Food Bank of Southeast North Carolina. Through this arsenal of programs, Action Pathways, Inc. can collaborate and help those in greatest need in the communities we serve.
Through the RCPNC Grant opportunity, SHFB has already reached out into the underserved Robeson County community to start breaking down barriers that exist to making sure all people have their basic needs met. Robeson County is known to be a community that is difficult to breach for those on the outside. Fortunately, Second Harvest Food Bank has 66 partner agencies in Robeson County, some that we’ve been partnering with for over 20 years. Through these member agencies, as well as newly formed partnerships, we are making strides to figuring out the barriers to childhood hunger in this community. During this process, we identified the Lack of Transportation and Knowledge of Existing Programs as an issue we may possibly be able to tackle with our available resources. The idea of hosting a mobile food pantry at a few local schools in Robeson County, while supplying information about existing programs such as, Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP), Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), is a goal that is promising. This would also provide the community with healthy food and knowledge of existing programs, without the burden of having to find transportation. However, due to the recent devastating events of Hurricane Matthew, many of the members in our coalition have been directly affected by the aftermath and are in the process of restricting their programs. Therefore, with a new partnership with the North Carolina Department of Agriculture, we were awareded the opportunity to bring the CSFP program to Robeson County. Our team has already begun, with boots on the ground, registering clients for this program as well as providing information about additional program. We have now engaged our Advancement Team to create a social marketing campaign which would help with combating the myths surrounding poverty and nutritional program usage. Utilizing our mobile pantry, our first distribution is due to start mid-March. Lastly, our coalition will work together with the NC Department of Public Instruction to provide more resources for after school feeding programs.
Our role, thorough this grant, as well as through our overall role as an advocate for those in need and food insecure in the communities we serve, is to create a Coalition, bringing like minded people together to collect data and find solutions to the larger issue of childhood hunger in Robeson County.
Targeted Nutrition Assistance Programs: CSFP, CACFP, and SNAP