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By Margie Brooks
After the July power outage on Ocracoke and Hatteras, Swan Quarter Volunteer Fire Dept. Chief Jeffery Stotesberry was so concerned about Ocracoke’s Bread of Life Food Pantry that he organized a food drive on the mainland to help the island.
Many island residents lost food in their refrigerators and freezers and suffered a financial loss when all non-residents were evacuated July 28 for a week, forcing many businesses to close temporarily and to lay off employees. The pantry, in the Ocracoke Assembly of God Church on Lighthouse Road, quickly depleted its food stock.
“While Ocracoke’s loss of electricity was a man-made event, there was a possibility that a hurricane or even a nor’easter could create additional needs on the island,” Stotesberry said. “We have been through many such incidents in eastern North Carolina, and know the importance of being prepared.”
As Hurricane Irma charged toward the United States, many mainland churches, stores, businesses and individuals pitched in.
Stotesberry arrived on the island on Sept. 6 with a trailer-load of donated goods.
“We can’t begin to thank them enough for putting that together,” Pastor Ivey Belch said. “For the mainland and Ocracoke to come together for this project was a wonderful thing.”
Stotesberry also presented Belch with a check made possible by cash donations.
While this donation greatly helped to restock the pantry, it is in constant need of replenishment, Food and monetary donations, for both the pantry and the church’s efforts to expand it into another building, are always needed, Belch said.
To that end, donations marked “Food Pantry” or “Food Pantry Building Fund” may be mailed to the Ocracoke Assembly of God Church, P.O. Box 68, Ocracoke, NC 27960.
The food pantry is open in October from noon to 2 p.m. Tuesdays and Fridays.