WILMINGTON — Earlier in the week, local tech company nCino announced a million-dollar pledge to the local branch of the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina — which serves over 800 partner agencies, including soup kitchens, food pantries, shelters, and programs in Wilmington, Greenville, New Bern, Raleigh, Durham, and the Sandhills. The donation to the Wilmington food bank will help build a new facility on its upcoming campus on Greenfield Street.
Once constructed, the nCino Hunger Solutions Center will address food insecurity and relief efforts by expanding and providing more services and access to food for populations in need across Brunswick, Columbus, New Hanover and Pender counties.
nCino announced in a release it will donate the money over a five-year span. The facility will welcome community partners to gather and implement various programs in health education and workforce development, as well as offer a community garden and test kitchen.
“As a company that has been based in Wilmington for nearly a decade, we’re committed to giving back to impactful community institutions and supporting our neighbors throughout the region,” said Zedrick Applin, program manager of diversity, equity, inclusion and community at nCino.
Wilmington food bank director Beth Gaglione confirmed in a release the pandemic exacerbated food-relief needs throughout the community, with partner pantries within the network experiencing a 35% increase in services. Locally, the bank provided 8.9 million meals and 3.7 million pounds of produce, distributed among 9,000 volunteer hours over the last year.
“[Covid-19] has clearly shown that food insecurity is a defined reality for thousands in our community,” Gaglione said in the release. “Insufficient space has prevented us from increasing our efforts to nourish more people and build solutions to end hunger.”
The new facility will break ground later in the year, with an opening slated for 2022. It will consist of 35,000 square feet, which will be a 190% increase from its current home on Marstellar Street. Gaglione said nCino’s partnership will position the food bank to be better equipped to reach more people, by boosting the food bank’s output by 37% overall, allowing the operation to churn out an additional 4.2 million pounds of food a year.
Since 2002, the Wilmington branch of the food bank has given away 150 million pounds of food, worth around $200 million. To date, it tracks 93,950 people in the area facing hunger, including over 27,000 children and more than 24,000 elders living at or below the poverty line.
“From working families, to seniors on fixed incomes, to children and teens who live at home or are working their way through college, everyone deserves access to nutritious food daily,” Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo said in a release. “This new partnership between nCino and the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina will help expand services and is an important step forward in the fight to end hunger in our region.”
Have tips or comments? Email firstname.lastname@example.org