“Some of these families are living very close to the edge and are already having to skip meals throughout the month,” said Susan Romaine, a founder and director of PORCH.
“In some cases parents would skip meals to get their kids fed. Sometimes people put things off,” Romaine said. “These families make really hard choices throughout the month and when something comes up they have to choose between food and basic needs like prescriptions.”
PORCH, People Offering Relief for Chapel Hill Carborro Homes, is an organization that provides local hunger relief in Orange County and worked to ensure families had enough food during the recent snow days.
“I’m thrilled to say that we were able to serve 170 of our families,” Romaine said. “It was very cold and treacherous but our volunteers stepped up.”
Romaine said PORCH was able to get 20 bags of fresh foods to Rogers Road Community Center, which primarily serves low-income families with kids in public schools.
“PORCH provided enough groceries — canned goods, produce, milk — to help those families out here in the Rogers Road neighborhood,” said Rosie Caldwell, spokeswoman for the Rogers Road Community Center. “We had vegetables and fruits to help sustain those families.”
The Rogers Road Community Center also played a role in supporting families during the snow days.
“When we are open, the kids had a safe place to play and the parents didn’t need to worry for them. Some of the children would come out here and spend three to four hours. It gave parents just enough time to do some errands without having to pay extra for day care or a babysitter,” said Caldwell.
PORCH and the Rogers Road Community Center provided food for families that could make it to the center and for those that could not.
“We actually reached out to neighbors, some of us door-to-door, to provide groceries to people who couldn’t get to the community center,” Caldwell said.