The Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina presented Avery’s Chapel Church with the Hunger Hero Award for distributing nearly half a million pounds of food to the community in 2021.

Avery’s Chapel distributed a total of 491,393 pounds of food last year, the award stated. The church established its food pantry more than 20 years ago, and ever since has given away boxes of food to help those in need.

“The Food Bank recognizes Avery’s tireless dedication to our shared mission that makes sure we are nourishing, building and empowering communities. Your compassion for our neighbors is inspiring,” a letter to the church said. “We understand that hunger relief work is not always easy; however, through rain, snow, hurricane and pandemic you all continue to show up and serve.”

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the church geared up to help more people than ever before. Avery’s Chapel Church was giving away food to help feed upwards of 1,300 people a week in 2020, an organizer told the News-Journal at the time. Volunteers help load and unload the boxes of food delivered by food banks such as Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina, and even delivered food to people who couldn’t leave their homes.

“We appreciate your partnership and believe the title of ‘hunger hero’ is befitting of Avery’s Chapel history of work in the community,” the food bank representative wrote in the letter to the church.

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