Nurses step up for food bank

Published 11:31 am Saturday, November 19, 2011

Southampton Memorial Hospital employees participating in a food drive for Franklin Cooperative Ministries included, in front from left, Holly Rountree, Lisa Turner, Wanda Edwards, Jill Brock and Janice Trump; and standing, Sandra Vick, Renee Wrenn, Amy Beale, Ann Pierce, Eveyln Musser, Susie Cobb, Gayle Phillips, Amy Thomas and Shannon Coggsdale. -- SUBMITTED

FRANKLIN—Through her job at Southampton Memorial Hospital, registered nurse Amy Thomas sees enough people in need, so when asked to help, the 31-year-old didn’t hesitate.

Thomas was among more than a dozen SMH nurses who recently collected items for Franklin Cooperative Ministries’ food bank after hearing demand was the highest in the non-profit agency’s 20-year history.

Cooperative Ministries also for the first time recently made a public plea for donations.

“We heard that they were very low in their stock and we just wanted to do something to give back to our community,” Thomas said.

Cooperative Ministries Director Veronica Ferguson is ever-so thankful for groups like the nurses at SMH and individuals who have given, and hopes people will continue to give.

“We’ve had a very positive influx of food, but this happens all the time,” Ferguson said. “They give now and it stops after December. The pantries are looking great, but in January, February and March it stops. I can’t stress enough the need to continue to do it.”

In 2007, Franklin Cooperative Ministries gave away 387 bags of food for the year. As of Oct. 15, the agency had given out 1,300 bags for the year.

About 20 churches in Franklin and Southampton County and the southern portion of Isle of Wight County support the food bank with donations of money and food. The agency traditionally spends $100 every two months for extra food. Lately, it’s been $400 to $500 a month.

The group provides bags of food valued at $20 each to more than 200 families. Items include peanut butter, jelly, Saltine crackers, pork and beans, tuna fish, canned vegetables and popcorn. Clients can get food every two months.

The food bank at 511 N. Main St. near the Franklin post office is open 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 3 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 9 am. to noon on Friday.

For additional information, call Ferguson at 516-6322.