Rotary Club of Rocky Mount tackles food insecurity one little pantry at a time

One little pantry alone has gone through more than 1,200 pounds of food.

Rather than getting a newspaper, these containers hold food for those in need.

Rocky Mount, Va. – According to Feeding America data projections, Franklin County’s food insecurity woes are expected to steadily increase as we wrap up the year.

But a club in Rocky Mount aims to combat the issue one little pantry at a time.

Instead of sliding in a coin to buy a newspaper, people can now pull on a handle to access food and toiletries in Franklin County.

The Rotary Club of Rocky Mount revamped newsstands and installed three little pantries in July to help people in need.

Now, the pantries have doubled.

“When we chose locations for these boxes we put them in areas where we knew they were highly visible and with people that would possibly need a quick meal whether that be on the weekends or an evening,” Rotary Club of Rocky Mount President Joey Cornwell said.

Since August, one pantry at the Snow Creek Fire and Rescue went through more than 1,200 pounds of food.

The club had to install a second food pantry at the station to keep up with the high demand.

“We didn’t know where this project would go,” Cornwell said. “We knew we put them in areas where folks could be able to access a quick meal when they needed it. But that opened up our eyes big time on the locations we put them in.”

As a dairy farmer, Cornwell wanted to take it to the next level and created the Moo Crew.

It’s a group of volunteers who purchase gallons of milk and delivers them to local food pantries.

“Franklin county is one of the second largest areas in the state for dairy farming,” Cornwell said. “And growing up on the dairy farm it’s just in me. It will always be in me.”

Since July, they have distributed nearly 200 gallons of milk throughout the county.

To expand their efforts further, the club plans to add two more little pantries in the new year.

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Alexus joined 10 News in October 2020.