The Sandhills Food Bank

Michael Cotten, Branch Director of the Sandhills Food Bank and Regional Council Member George Norman discuss important information about the Food Bank and how important it is to increase awareness about the programs and services.

Michael is also the president elect of the Sandhills Kiwanis Club.
The Sandhills Food Bank has around 100 partner agencies who work closely to serve the community in distributing food to those who are in need.


Established in 1980, the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina a nonprofit organization that has provided food for people at risk of hunger in 34 counties in central and eastern North Carolina for over 30 years. The Food Bank serves a network of more than 800 partner agencies such as soup kitchens, food pantries, shelters, and programs for children and adults through warehouses in Durham, Greenville, New Bern, Raleigh, the Sandhills (Southern Pines) and Wilmington. In fiscal year 2010-11, the Food Bank distributed more than 42.7 million pounds of food and non-food essentials through these agencies.

Sadly, hunger remains a serious problem in central and eastern North Carolina. In these counties, more than 500,000 struggle each day to provide enough food for their families. Nearly 29 percent of the people served by the Food Bank’s network are children, and another 8 percent are elderly. Thirty percent of the families served  are the “working poor” people who work hard and still have to choose between eating and other basic necessities such as medicine and housing.

The Food Bank operates 6 branch warehouses: a primary facility in Raleigh and branch warehouses in Durham, Greenville, New Bern (in the Greenville Service Territory), Wilmington and Southern Pines.


The Sandhills Branch of the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina serves 4 counties in south central North Carolina. They are Lee, Moore, Richmond and Scotland counties. One county served is shared with the  Raleigh Branch, Lee county.

Last year over 5 million pounds of food was distributed to 107 agencies in those counties. The Food Bank at Sandhills operates two trucks that traveled over 37,000 miles last year. Volunteers donated over 4,100 hours of their time last year: equivalent to approximately two full-time employees.

In the counties served by the Sandhills branch, over 34,000 individuals are at risk of hunger: 12,000 are children and over 8% are 65 and older.


How many people does the Food Bank serve?

The Feeding America 2010 Study estimates that the Food Bank is now providing emergency food for an estimated 545,000 different people annually in our 34 county service territory. About 73,000 different people receive emergency food assistance in any given week. Additionally:

  • 29% (more than 180,000) of those served by the Food Bank are children
  • 8% of people served by the Food Bank are elderly
  • 30% of households include at least one employed adult
  • Only 8% are homeless