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RALEIGH, N.C., Aug. 6, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- SECU Foundation Board Chair McKinley Wooten, Jr. and NC Association of Feeding America Food Banks Executive Director Alan Briggs met today to sign a $1.2 million Agreement that will provide North Carolinians in need with 6 million additional meals over the next 3 years! The grant from State Employees' Credit Union (SECU) members via their Foundation will add 2 million meals per year to clients served by North Carolina food banks – that's one extra meal per year funded by each of the Credit Union's 2 million members. The non-profit NC Association serves as a strategic alliance for the six food banks and one food recovery organization in the state, and its affiliated network of 2,500 food pantries, shelters and community groups will help ensure the additional meals reach neighbors in all 100 North Carolina counties.
A photo accompanying this release is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=35009
According to a recent Feeding America research report "Hunger in America 2014," 81% of North Carolina households receiving assistance don't know where their next meal is coming from, 73% of NC households served have had to choose between paying for food or healthcare and medicine, 61% served have been forced to choose between buying food and paying for housing and 36% of NC food pantries have had to turn people away for lack of food to distribute.
As part of the Agreement provisions, SECU Foundation's grant will assist with procuring and distributing additional shelf stable food items that are not ordinarily donated or are in short supply. The grant will also help procure and distribute additional fruits and vegetables to improve nutritional food stream content, tying in with the Association's statewide Farm to Food Bank initiative to rescue unharvested or unsold produce. The final result will mean better food for more families in poverty, improved health for the food insecure and boosts to local communities across North Carolina.
"Since 2010, North Carolina has regularly ranked among the top ten states with the highest percentage of citizens experiencing food insecurity and we have one of the highest percentages in the U.S. of children under 18 who are food insecure on a regular basis, 26.7% or over 1 in 4," said Briggs. "SECU Foundation's grant will help us close the meal gap, providing a source of funds to purchase basic necessities and help expand our ability to meet the growing needs in our State. We deeply appreciate the support from SECU members through their generous funding and commitment to this project."
Wooten added, "On behalf of SECU members, we are delighted to be partnering with the NC Association of Feeding America Food Banks to provide much needed assistance for local citizens and bring more awareness to the issue of hunger. The Foundation's investment in this initiative will also broaden the reach of the Food Bank's network statewide and help build connections between individual food banks and their partner agencies with Credit Union branches in all counties. We know this effort will make a powerful difference in our State!"
About SECU and the SECU Foundation
A not-for-profit financial cooperative owned by its members, SECU has been providing employees of the State of North Carolina and their families with consumer financial services for 78 years. The Credit Union also offers a diversified line of financial advisory services including retirement and education planning, tax preparation, insurance, trusts, estate planning and investments through its partners and affiliated entities. SECU serves 2 million members through 254 branch offices, over 1,100 ATMs, 24/7 Contact Centers and a website, www.ncsecu.org. The SECU Foundation, a 501c (3) charitable organization funded solely by the contributions of SECU members, promotes local community development in North Carolina primarily through high impact projects in the areas of housing, education, healthcare and human services.
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