Sharing Center receives Food Lion gift cards, partners with Ashe Wildlife Club

Wil Petty Staff Writer

October 24, 2013

The Ashe County Sharing Center is providing $5 Food Lion gift cards through the end of October

“Food Lion gave a generous donation through Feed in America and the Second Harvest Food Bank,” said Michael Sexton, program facilitator of the Sharing Center.

In a press release from Food Lion, the Salisbury-based company donated $500,000 in gift cards in response to the state shutting down WIC benefits during the government shutdown earlier this month. The cards went to seven different food bank organizations in the state, including the Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina, which serves the Ashe Sharing Center.

Kelly Vannoy, chairperson of the Sharing Center Board of Directors, said the Sharing Center received approximately 220 of the cards, which totals at $1,100.

Sexton said they will be able to give the cards to the families through the end of October, but only one gift card will be given per family.

The gift cards can be used for anything except alcohol and cigarettes.

The Sharing Center is expected to help out 18,000 people through 2013. Of those, approximately 44 percent are children.

“We’re serving people who work and just can’t make ends meet,” Vannoy said.

Their pantry typically has supplies to last the Sharing Center for seven months, but with the higher demand the supplies are diminishing fast. The Sharing Center is encouraging those that can donate to do so.

It takes the Sharing Center 100 cases of vegetables to meet its demand every month. Approximately 90 percent is purchased while the other 10 percent comes from Second Harvest. The Sharing Center serves approximately 1,500 Ashe County residents monthly.

The nonprofit has also teamed up with the Ashe Wildlife Club, to take part in Hunters for the Hungry, a program intended to help provide more food.

Vannoy said hunters can take deer, dressed or undressed, to Joe Gentry in Jefferson and the Sharing Center will get a portion of the venison.

“We hope to make the venison available to provide families that enjoy (deer),” Sexton said.

Also new in October, the Sharing Center has provided a hospitality desk upon check-in for its customers and clients.

“It affords (clients) the opportunity to sit down and socialize over coffee and desserts,” Sexton said.

Sexton said the new addition has gone over well and their clients have given positive feedback.