The Vision of the Beach Food Pantry (BFP) is to eliminate food insecurity for those living and working in Dare County.
Our Mission is: Feeding bellies. Filling Hearts. We partner with our donors and community to provide access to nutritional food, ensuring that no one worries about where their next meal will come from.
Values: The shared beliefs that underlie our work
- Respect: We approach our work with empathy, understanding and compassion for the diverse community we serve, always discretely maintaining the dignity of the clients we serve.
- Innovation: We are flexible and responsive to the changing needs of the community. We lead by finding creative ways to prevent and reduce food insecurity. We are forward thinking; always looking for the best ways to sustain our community, our mission and our planet.
- Collaboration: We know we cannot end hunger alone. We maximize our resources through partnership with area businesses and organizations.
- Accountability: We deliver outstanding service and high-quality programs, effectively and efficiently. We steward our resources with integrity and transparency with a commitment to quality and sustainability.
- Passion: We serve with zeal, commitment and humility every person we contact. We are excited, engaged, and sincere in all our dealings. We serve with honor the clients of our communities.
History and other important facts:
The Beach Food Pantry (BFP) was organized by a few local religious organizations in 1989. In 1992, the BFP incorporated. In 2004, we became an IRS Tax-Exempt 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Over the years, the BFP has been located at St. Andrews by the Sea Episcopal Church and Holy Trinity in Nags Head; the Emergency Medical Services station in Kill Devil Hills; Southern Shores; and various locations in Kitty Hawk. In January 2016, we moved to our new permanent home at 4007 North Croatan Highway in Kitty Hawk.
The BFP is a professionally-run organization, with an Excutive Director at the helm of daily operations, and the supervision and guidance of a Board of Directors.
We have over 300 volunteers annually that help the BFP serve clients successfully. Fourteen participating churches, and a number of civic organizations, provide most of the afternoon Client Distribution volunteers throughout the year. A trained and dedicated team of Retail Donation volunteers get the product from the stores to us. And, Pantry Prep volunteers keep the shelves ready for our clients to shop from.
The food we distribute comes in from a number of sources:
- We purchase $80,000+ in product annually. This is only possible thanks to individual, business, religious, and civic donations; grants; and special events that help support our mission. We do not receive monetary support from national, state or local governments. People are also often confused and believe that donations they make to the Food Bank of the Albemarle come to us. This is not correct. Think of it like this, if you donate to the Chamber of Commerce in an area, you would not expect that the Chamber would pass those donations along to any of their independent business members. In the same vein, those donations support the Food Bank of the Albemarle and are not funneled to their member agencies. When you round up at the local grocery stores, those funds also do not come to us.
- We receive past-dated/close-dated perishable product (meat, produce, dairy, baked goods, prepared foods, etc) at a minimal per pound cost from Food Lion, Publix, Fresh Market and Walmart through the Feeding America Retail Donation program. We also receive unsaleable donations from Starbucks through the Food Donation Connection program. Different stores donate on different schedules, but we receive this product 6 days per week.
- Food Drives and/or donations of food from individuals.
- We work well with the other local pantries and Lower Currituck Food Pantry. Sometimes, we are able to share large donations across multiple organizations.
- Once a month, we are able to order limited quantities of product from the State Allocated Monies (SAM) program, when there is product on the list that we utilize. For example, we know that beef stew with textured vegetable protein is not a product that moves well. Therefore, we would not order that product, even if it was available for order.
- Occasionally, there is product available from the Food Bank of the Albemarle that we are able to purchase at a deep discount and/or receive at no cost. However, the availability of suitable product for our specific needs is sporadic and we are not guaranteed that we will receive what we order. Therefore, we are required to source our own vendors that have a wider variety and that help us most efficiently plan for filling our needs.
In 2022, we were a finalist for Best of the Beach - Place to Volunteer and our Executive Director was the Winner of the Nonprofit Leader category. In 2014, we were named Outer Banks Non-Profit of the Year through the Outer Banks Chamber of Commerce Non-Profit of the Year Program.
Through a contractual relationship, we are a Member Agency of the Food Bank of the Albemarle. In turn, they are a member of Feeding America, and that is how we can access the Retail Donations the grocery store chains supply. Only food banks, not food pantries, can be members of Feeding America.
We are also members of the Outer Banks Chamber of Commerce, North Carolina Center for Non-Profits and NC Tech 4 Good.