Chris Williams, owner of Chris’s Grocery in Swan Quarter and the Engelhard Red & White, is shown adding donated items to the Food Drive baskets he has set up in each store. Photo by Margie Brooks

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Ocracoke’s friends and neighbors across the Pamlico Sound on mainland Hyde County have organized a mainland-wide food drive to help restock the Bread of Life Food Pantry in the Ocracoke Assembly of God Church.

The recent loss of power on Ocracoke and a mandatory evacuation of all non-residents (July 27 to Aug. 4) resulted in most Ocracoke businesses closing their doors and many residents without a job (or paycheck) for a week.

The loss of income at a time when businesses make their money for the year–and the loss of food in their own refrigerators and freezers–has been felt across the island. 

During the week-long crisis, the pantry quickly depleted their food stock–serving 270 families in a two-day period.

With an eye to the possibility that the island may be further impacted this year if a hurricane or even a nor’easter storm is forecasted, Swan Quarter Volunteer Fire Department Fire Chief Jeffrey Stotesberry felt that time was of the essence in restocking the pantry.

He is being helped by local churches, businesses and residents.

“Such an event could result in similar evacuations of the island and additional loss of income for business and residents,” Stotesberry said.  “We want to help the Ocracoke community prepare for their future food needs by getting those pantry shelves full again.”

Donation boxes have been set up at the following mainland locations:

–In Swan Quarter: the Hyde County Government Complex lobby
Chris’s Grocery
the NC Ferry Terminal
the Swan Quarter VFD
–In Engelhard:
Spencer True Value Store and the Red and White Grocery

–In Ponzer: the Ruritan Club (front porch).

Many mainland churches will also be conducting drives within their churches and delivering items to the Swan Quarter ferry terminal for delivery to the church.

Stotesberry said other folks with a love of Hyde County but who reside elsewhere may want to help.

Monetary donations (marked “Ocracoke Food Drive”) may be mailed to the SQVFD, P.O. Box 97, Swan Quarter, NC 27885.

 Please contact Stotesberry at 252-542-0901, or, for more information or to help with the food drive.


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