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PORCH Hillsborough is a dynamic community of volunteers committed to fighting hunger in northern Orange County, North Carolina. Our simple, sustainable programs provide non-perishable and fresh food to children and families who need it through food drives to support the local pantry, produce deliveries to at-risk families, food distributions in underserved communities, and the purchase of healthy snacks for hungry kids in our schools.
Providing fresh and non-perishable foods to our school families at home, and snacks while the kids are at school, is one way we can help every student benefit from the expertise of our OCS teachers.– Linda Leikin, PORCH Hillsborough Director
Notebooks and pencils? Check.
Dependable access to healthy, nutritious food? Sadly, no. Nearly half of Orange County School students lack that basic back-to-school essential.
Local pantries are a critical lifeline for families who struggle to put food on the table. Each month, Neighborhood Coordinators volunteering with PORCH Hillsborough collect non-perishable items from local porches and deliver them to the Orange County Schools Central Pantry located at Orange Middle School and Orange Congregations in Mission (OCIM) food pantry in Hillsborough.
No child should struggle to focus in school because they are hungry, and teachers should not have to spend their own personal funds to buy snacks for students. That’s why PORCH partners with local businesses and individuals to sponsor a healthy snack program for children in public schools and after-school programs. Our PORCH for Schools snack program works in collaboration with school social workers to serve the 13 Orange County public schools and the local Head Start program.
As a supplement to the non-perishable goods that are more widely available at pantries, PORCH Fresh provides a monthly distribution of fresh food – including vegetables, fruits, meat, eggs, and dairy – to food insecure families in our community. Farmer Foodshare produce boxes are provided to 150 OC school families identified as being at risk for hunger by school social workers. Additionally, fresh items such as protein, eggs, and cheese are distributed by PORCH Hillsborough at our various monthly community food distributions. Weaver Street Market Round-Up funds help fund this effort.
In 2020 as the Covid pandemic hit, PORCH Hillsborough began working in partnership with the Food Bank of Central and Eastern NC to conduct monthly food distributions to local families in need. PORCH Hillsborough uses your monetary gifts to supplement the Food Bank donations with fresh eggs, cheese, protien, and grocery gift cards.