Hospitality House, the regional nonprofit housing and hunger relief agency serving Watauga, Ashe, Wilkes, Avery, Alleghany, Mitchell and Yancey counties, recently launched an ambitious campaign to more than double the size of its existing food pantry.
Having fed nearly 61,000 people from food boxes and served over 1.1 million meals in the dining room since opening in 2011, the need has long since outgrown the current 126 square foot pantry.
“This project has been a goal of ours for several years now,” stated Hospitality House executive director Tina B. Krause. “Each time that Second Harvest Food Bank does a site visit, they are in disbelief at the number of people that we are able to feed out of such a small space.”
Launched with an initial $15,500 capital improvements grant from the Cannon Foundation, the complete VPC Builders construction project totals just over $62,000. This week, Capital Bank pledged to match all donations up to $10,000 for the expansion.
“The Capital Bank Foundation is proud to support the work of Hospitality House,” stated Jason Triplett, Capital Bank – Northwest NC President. “The critical programs they provide, like hunger relief, are essential to the well-being of our homeless and hungry community members. We wish them the best of luck raising all $10,000 of the matching challenge.”
“After taking the WinterFest Polar Plunge, raising almost $4,000, we’d been hoping to find a less chilly way to raise money for the expansion,” joked Hospitality House director of development Todd Carter.
Carter continued, “We are so grateful to Capital Bank for stepping up with such a significant fundraising challenge. It has quite an impact on donors to know that whatever they donate will be matched by Capital Bank, effectively doubling their gift.”
The pantry expansion will allow for wheelchair access, increased client choice selections, additional refrigerators and freezers; as well as, improved access to produce, fruit, herbs and eggs from the Hospitality House gardens.
“Recently, we’ve seen a significant increase in elderly and disabled clients accessing our food pantry,” noted Hospitality House food service coordinator Faith Bradley. “This expansion will not only aid in the ease of shopping for these clients but will allow us to increase the amount of food in each food box from three and one-half days’ worth to six days for all households.”
Community members wishing to donate to the pantry expansion can visit HospHouse.org/pantrychallenge or mail a check, with “pantry challenge” in the memo line,” to Hospitality House, PO Box 309 Boone NC 28607.