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Nourish up

The Huntersville Emergency Food Pantry began over 36 years ago when five area churches collaborated to fill a need they saw in their community. These five churches oversaw the ministry until 1995 when they decided to become a part of Loaves and Fishes of Mecklenburg County. Loaves and Fishes merged with Friendship Trays in 2021 and together they took on the new name of “Nourish
Up” in 2024. The name may have changed over the years, but the mission remains the same: to help those families in our community who are dealing with food insecurity.

Sixty-five ministry partners presently staff our Food Pantry: twenty-six are HUMC members and thirty-nine are from the community at large. These ministry partners gave 7,606 hours in service during 2023. They served 1,670 families which included 1,975 children for a total of 5,645 individuals. Ministry partners are at work every Monday through Friday. Donations are received on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from Target. On Tuesday there is a delivery from Second Harvest Food Bank in the morning and one from our warehouse that afternoon. Ministry partners processed 104 tons of food and non-food items in 2023. All donations are weighed, sorted and date checked before they can be placed on the shelves for clients to choose from during their shopping experience. We do not advertise or solicit families seeking our assistance. On Wednesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. until noon we serve clients. Adult clients must obtain a referral from an approved agency before coming to the pantry. Each family is
allotted twelve visits within a calendar year. On each visit they make food selections that will enable them to feed their families for a week.

Ministry partners greet our clients in the parking lot, sign them in, visit with them if they must wait, assist them in their shopping and help them load their cars. This is done with a smiling face and a genuine desire to help someone dealing with food insecurity. Jesus taught in Matthew 25:35 “for I was hungry, and you gave me food, I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and
you welcomed me.” This is the example we strive to follow. One of our newest partnerships is with Promising Pages. This is a non-profit organization based in Charlotte whose goal is to put books in the hands of children and adults. They collect new and gently used books that we can request
for our clients. Each person who requests books receives a bag with three books 
that he/she may keep. It is our hope that that home libraries are begun and a love of reading is developed.

We gladly accept food and financial donations. Any monies donated are used to buy food items that are hard to keep in stock or non-food items such as toothpaste, bar soap, toilet paper and laundry detergent. Plastic bags, paper bags and reusable bags are great donation items as well.

Our Food Pantry strives to minimize waste. We share food items with our own “Right Here” ministry, “Angels and Sparrows” Community Table and Resource Center, and First United Methodist Church of Charlotte for their Sunday morning coffee ministry. We also support the Lake Norman Community Health Clinic, Hope House, Caterpillar Ministries, the residents of Deer Hill Apartments, and MiraVia (a ministry of the Catholic Church).

If you have an interest in seeing the Pantry in action or possibly joining us in our mission, feel free to contact me via email, text or phone. You would become a part of an incredible group of people who are dedicated to making a positive impact in the lives of others in their community.

Wanda Kerns
Food Pantry Coordinator

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