Giving the Gift of Nourishment
A HELPING HAND
BY PETER VIELE | PHOTO BY ALLISON POTTER
From front to back, Suzanne Joyce, Tina Blue and Christy Posley gather food and supplies at Bread for Life Senior Pantry on March 3.
WITH modified procedures, Bread for Life Senior
Pantry and other area nonprofits and churches are
still giving the gift of nourishment to Wilming-ton’s
hungry during the coronavirus pandemic.
All have adopted safety standards using drive-up distribution.
“We are continuing food distribution using every safety
measure suggested by the N.C. Food Bank on a drive-through
basis, taking food to their cars,” says pantry co-director Sue
Wilmington’s Bread for Life Senior Pantry was born in 2006,
when Claudette Fiskin saw a need arising among seniors living
on a fixed retirement income who often were faced with the scary
choice between paying for their life-saving medicine and bills or
groceries for the week. She founded the gleaning ministry with
the help of St. Mark Catholic Church.
Bread for Life evolved to become an independent, 501(c)(3)
nonprofit in 2018, and now serves over 250 low-income seniors
through an entirely volunteer team of about 100. As partners
with the Food Pantry of North Carolina, Bread for Life helps
seniors age 62 and above by providing much-needed supplemen-tal
food and supplies for free.
“We have grants and we work with the N.C. Food Bank,” says
Senior Vice President Ann Tremblay. “Walmart and Food
Lion have been exceedingly generous as well. But we also have
to watch our pennies because we still have to buy food to help
provide for these needs. We work on a very slim budget. For
2020, we have a proposed budget of $37,685.”
There are an estimated 3,500 low-income seniors in New
“Seniors worked all their lives and now they don’t have what
they thought they would have at this stage,” Tremblay says.
“They’re now also in deteriorating health or maybe need surgeries.
Everything is more expensive than it was in, say, 1970 and food
is the last option they choose over these more pressing expenses.
This ministry outgrew itself into a nonprofit because there were
so many hungry seniors in this position.”
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