Beach Food Pantry Launches First-Ever Annual Appeal

The Beach Food Pantry is kicking off our first-ever annual appeal.  In commemoration of our 25 years of providing service to the Dare County community, we are conducting this appeal throughout the remainder of the year and throughout upcoming holiday season.

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We are reaching out today to you, our friends and supporters, to share news about the Beach Food Pantry, and update you on some of our new programs. As a result of your interest and support, as well as donations from across our Outer Banks’ community, we were able to provide emergency food assistance to 5,100 individuals in 2013, representing nearly 15% of Dare County residents!

The Pantry purchases the majority of the non-perishable items that are distributed. These items provide families with a core set of staple food items to feed a household for 2 to 4 weeks. Donations of food items that augment our core food offerings are received from community food drives; individual and organization donations; participation in the monthly Supplemental Nutritional Assistance program; and perishable food donations of bread, meat, produce, and dairy from area Food Lion, Fresh Market, and Walmart stores.

This past year, you may have heard that we instituted a new Board of Directors and hired a part-time Executive Director. These changes were necessary to meet the increasing challenge of bringing in enough food and donations to sustain the Pantry. We have been pleased with the resulting increases in the number of volunteers, improvements to our website, increased social media presence, new partnerships with community and national organizations to secure grant funding and participate in fundraisers, and new monthly e-newsletter for supporters.

The Beach Food Pantry’s mission is to provide direct nutritional assistance to Dare County’s residents in a temporary crises or emergency situations. In our unique seasonal economy, this can be challenging. The Cost of Living Index released in May 2014 revealed that the cost of living in Dare County is 8.7% above the national average. Food costs were about 5% above the national average. Non-seasonal unemployment is as high as 20%; and 15% of the county’s population is food insecure.

To help meet the needs of our community, we have implemented an annual appeal and sponsorship program and plan to develop other community fundraisers to help us feed the hungry in our community. Donation information, sponsorship levels, pledge opportunities, and information about food drives, volunteering, and our e-newsletter are highlighted on our rack card inserted below or by clicking here- Beach Food Pantry Rack Card.  You may also donate via Paypal at our Donate Button in the header or on the left hand side of each of our website pages.

We hope that you will support the Beach Food Pantry through a monetary donation, sponsorship, pledge, or donation of time or food items as well as share our mission and challenges with others in the community. Your efforts are vital to our success in alleviating food insecurity in Dare County and we look forward to our partnership with you in the coming year.

We have contacted over 1,600 of our fellow Dare County residents and supporters by mail and are reaching out to the rest of our community through our website, social media outlets, supporting churches and organizations, and email newsletter.  Please help us spread the word by sharing this information with your friends, family, coworkers, and anyone that you think would be interested!

Beach Food Pantry Rack Card

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Beach Food Pantry Pancake Dinner This Thursday!

2014-10-23 Pancake Dinner

The Beach Food Pantry, in cooperation with Stack‘em High Pancakes in Kitty Hawk, is hosting a Pancake Dinner Fundraiser on Thursday, October 23, 2014 from 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are $8, $5 of which will go directly to the Beach Food Pantry. Tickets will be available at the door! Tickets can either be purchased by cash or check made out to “Beach Food Pantry.”

The dinner includes: short stack (3 pancakes), your choice of bacon or sausage, and your choice of hash browns or grits. Dinner also includes a drink: coffee, tea (hot or cold), Coke products, water or milk (free refills). This dinner does not include bottled water or juices.

Plan to enjoy a great evening with family and friends and support your Beach Food Pantry!  To download the flyer, click here.

Beach Food Pantry Receives Large Donation or Pasta Products From ConAgra Foods

The Beach Food Pantry has received a donation of dry pasta products valued at $25,000 from ConAgra Foods of Omaha, Nebraska.  The donation is part of ConAgra Foods’ ongoing work to end childhood hunger in the United States.

Spearheaded by Pat Regan, Vice President/General Manager of Private Brands-Pasta for ConAgra Foods and Outer Banks resident, the donation marks the beginning of ConAgra Foods’ relationship with the Beach Food Pantry.  “We are looking for ways to further partner with the Beach Food Pantry in support of ending childhood hunger and are pleased that we are able to kick off this partnership with such a large donation, stated Regan.

“This will go a long way in helping us fight childhood hunger here in Dare County and we are so very grateful to ConAgra Foods for the donation,” stated Beach Food Pantry President Lorna Ernst.   “One out of every three people that we serve is a child under the age of 18 and last year alone we served nearly 15% of Dare County’s population.  We are very pleased to be able to partner with ConAgra Foods and are looking forward to this ongoing relationship.”

Over 30 pallets of dry pasta products were delivered to the Outer Banks a few weeks ago and accepted and stored at Hardy Moving and Storage thanks to the gracious donation and support of owner Charles Hardy.  The pasta products—which consisted of spaghetti, shells, and lasagna—were split between a number of Outer Banks food-providing agencies based upon need and storage capabilities.

According to Beach Food Pantry Executive Director Kathy McCullough-Testa, “We wanted to make sure that we could share this donation as much as we possibly could with our fellow food pantries to better serve the community.  We were able to split the donation between 10 different agencies based upon size and storage capabilities. We are especially grateful to Charles Hardy for accepting the donation at his facility in Harbinger; Dare Challenge for picking it up and putting it on the shelves for us; and Mike Davenport for providing additional space to store the extra product while we distribute it over the next month or so.”

In addition to the Beach Food Pantry, the following agencies received some of the pasta donation:  Lower Currituck Food Pantry in Grandy, Cape Hatteras United Methodist Men in Buxton, Lifeboat Community Food Pantry in Salvo, Roanoke Island Food Pantry in Manteo, Source Church Food Pantry in Manteo, Kill Devil Hills Mobile Food Pantry sponsored by the Colington United Methodist Church, Ruthie’s Community Kitchen in Nags Head, and Room at the Inn.



October 2014 Conagra Foods Donation (5)

Dare Challenge helping to unload the pasta.


October 2014 Conagra Foods Donation (8)

Pallets of ConAgra Foods pasta waiting for distribution.


October 2014 Conagra Foods Donation (1)

Cases of dry pasta product donated by ConAgra Foods.


October 2014 Conagra Foods Donation (13)

Picking up the pasta products to distribute to those in need.


About ConAgra Foods

ConAgra Foods, Inc., (NYSE: CAG) is one of North America’s largest packaged food companies with branded and private branded food found in 99 percent of America’s households, as well as a strong commercial foods business serving restaurants and foodservice operations globally. Consumers can find recognized brands such as Banquet®, Chef Boyardee®, Egg Beaters®, Healthy Choice®, Hebrew National®, Hunt’s®, Marie Callender’s®, Orville Redenbacher’s®, PAM®, Peter Pan®, Reddi-wip®, Slim Jim®, Snack Pack®, and many other ConAgra Foods brands, along with food sold by ConAgra Foods under private brand labels, in grocery, convenience, mass merchandise, club, and drug stores. Additionally, ConAgra Foods supplies frozen potato and sweet potato products as well as other vegetable, spice, bakery, and grain products to commercial and foodservice customers. ConAgra Foods operates, an interactive recipe website that provides consumers with easy dinner recipes and more. For more information, please visit us at

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About the Beach Food Pantry

The Beach Food Pantry’s mission is to provide direct nutritional assistance to Dare County’s residents in a temporary crises or emergency situations. In our unique seasonal economy, this can be challenging. The Cost of Living Index released in May 2014 revealed that the cost of living in Dare County is 8.7% above the national average. Food costs were about 5% above the national average. Non-seasonal unemployment is as high as 20%; and 15% of the county’s population is food insecure.

The Beach Food Pantry is a benevolent non-profit organization dedicated to serving the hungry in Dare County.  For more information on the Beach Food Pantry: visit; follow the Pantry on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn at “BeachFoodPantry”, on Google+ at “BeachFoodPantryKittyHawk”; or sign up for a regular e-newsletter via the link on the Pantry’s website or Facebook page.

Need Among Luxury – Reprint from Outer Banks This Week

Please read the following article.  It is a great article about what we do here at the Beach Food Pantry and the great need here on the Outer Banks.   Thank you so much to author Mike Lay and Outer Banks This Week for featuring us in their most recent blog. This is reprinted with permission from Outer Banks This Week.

At this time of year, when local events are still coming at us fast and furious, I typically jump right into the mix of what’s happening where and when and try to cover as much as I can. But recently a topic has been on my mind that is particularly pertinent to the Outer Banks. A person would have to have been pulling a serious Rip Van Winkle lately not to notice the sometimes heated national discussion regarding the minimum wage. Last week, a photograph posted on a social media site pointed out the extravagantly higher prices that Outer Bankers often pay for basic commodities compared to residents of inland communities. Then I learned of the Beach Food Pantry’s first annual appeal for support and suddenly these elements crystalized  into a theme I and Outer Banks This Week’s publisher agreed we should address, hopefully providing readers with some food for thought.

When people think of the Outer Banks they envision many things — carefree relaxation, pristine beaches, activities such as swimming, surfing or camping and great meals built around freshly harvested local seafood. One thing not commonly associated with the Outer Banks is hunger. And yet, in 2013 the Beach Food Pantry provided emergency food assistance to 5,100 individuals representing nearly 15% of Dare County residents!

Given the Outer Banks’ apparent wealth, you may wonder, “How is this possible?” Unfortunately, there are a number of factors creating the conditions for food insecurity in Dare County and all along the Outer Banks. According to the Cost of Living Index released in May 2014, Dare County’s cost of living is 8.7% above the national average. Food costs were 5% above the national average. Fuel costs are also significantly higher than in inland areas. Non-seasonal unemployment is as high as 20% and a significant number of those who are employed work in some segment of the service industry, an economic sector traditionally characterized by low wages.

We could study depressing statistics like these, and many more, until our eyes glazed over. The important question is this: What is the real life impact of such numbers on Outer Banks residents? Let’s consider fuel costs as one example. A couple days ago a friend posted a photo on Facebook of a gas pump in Petersburg, Virginia, showing a price of $2.96 for a gallon of regular. During the same period the price of a gallon of regular on the Outer Banks was averaging $3.49. What are the economic repercussions to an individual or family of this 53 cents per GALLON price difference? To fill up a small car’s 10-gallon gas tank costs a Petersburg worker $29.60. Purchasing the same amount of gasoline sets back an Outer Banks worker to the tune of $34.90. You could have a decent lunch off the difference. That’s $5.30 more for the same 10 gallons of gas! More importantly, it’s $5.30 that could have purchased a dozen eggs and a half gallon of milk or a loaf of bread and a package of cheese.

If an Outer Banks minimum wage worker fills the tank on the way to work Monday morning and then clocks in at 8 a.m., that worker must labor until nearly 1 p.m. that afternoon, almost five hours, to offset the morning’s fuel purchase before beginning to make any headway toward rent, electricity, groceries and other essential living expenses. As difficult as it can be to survive on a low- or reduced-income anywhere else in America, it can be even more difficult on the Outer Banks. Factor in the overall higher cost of living and, suddenly, it’s not so difficult to understand how 15% of the county’s population is food insecure. And why the Beach Food Pantry is such an essential community organization.

This Fall, in commemoration of its 25 years of providing service to the Dare County community, the Beach Food Pantry is kicking off its first-ever annual appeal, an effort that will continue throughout the holiday season. The Pantry, which provides direct nutritional assistance to Dare County residents in temporary crisis or emergency situations, also plans a series of community fundraisers throughout the coming year. Donation information, sponsorship levels, pledge opportunities, and information about food drives and volunteering are highlighted on the Pantry website, where donations are also accepted via PayPal.

As you go about your business this fall and through the holiday season, keep the Beach Food Pantry in mind as it strives to serve those struggling to maintain basic nutritional standards. And, please, contribute generously whenever and however you can.


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