Chapter Spotlight: North Brunswick and South Brunswick
Emily Silverman and her husband Mike Milewski started PORCH North Brunswick in late 2019. They had lived in Pittsboro and regularly volunteered with PORCH Fearrington. They moved to Leland two years ago and missed their PORCH community. After hurricane season ended, they had a full box of emergency food and supplies that they would have previously donated to PORCH. They reached out to Christine at PORCH Communities and to former Fearrington neighbors to figure out how to start a PORCH community in Brunswick County. Their first small food drive was in January 2020 and it has grown from there.
Emily likes the model for a number of reasons: “We love the PORCH model because it’s a great way to get neighbors involved in a shared effort. The donating and task of collecting donations, and delivering those donations to the food pantries are spread out over lots of volunteers. So it’s easy to participate. And we recognize the need is so great, so there is a lot of motivation to donate and to volunteer.”
A year later, in December 2020, two sisters, Kate Livers and Mary Beth Livers, started PORCH South Brunswick. When Kate lived in Carrboro she had been a volunteer and on the board of Chapel Hill – Carrboro Meals on Wheels and became familiar with PORCH since they had donated food for Meals on Wheels care packages. In November 2020, Mary Beth (as a part of her local Rotary) was collecting food to help the Boiling Spring Lakes Pantry provide a Thanksgiving dinner to neighbors in need. She came home and mentioned the lines she saw. Kate, remembering the PORCH model, wanted to start one in the community. With the help of another friend, Emily Silverman, and Christine, PORCH South Brunswick was born in a matter of weeks. Now in their third month, they have already expanded, providing food to seven local food pantries.
Kate loves being part of the PORCH Community: “My favorite thing about PORCH is how supportive the leadership team and fellow PORCH communities are! The ability to take what has now been a decade long, proven local success story and create a turnkey model which facilitates a successful startup in any community is an amazing asset to our fight to end hunger in America.”
To volunteer and learn more about PORCH North Brunswick and PORCH South Brunswick check out their websites and follow them on social media.