StarNews: Brunswick Family Assistance opens food pantry in Leland
By Makenzie Holland, StarNews Staff
Brunswick Family Assistance new full-time office to also offer financial assistance and other services
Jan 29, 2018 – LELAND — With the snip of a ribbon, the Brunswick Family Assistance (BFA) Leland office officially opened Monday morning to the loud sound of applause.
Though the nonprofit organization already operates a full-time office in Shallotte and had a part-time office in Leland, BFA Executive Director Stephanie Bowen said the organization wanted to open a full-time Leland office to make BFA’s services more accessible to people in northern Brunswick County.
“Last year … we provided over $67,000 in assistance to clients living in this area,” Bowen said. “While we’re glad that we’re able to provide that assistance, obviously it shows a huge need and a huge population of people living below the poverty line, so our goal here is to increase our service levels, making our services more accessible to folks in this area, particularly the food pantry.”
BFA now operates a full-time food pantry in Leland, something they weren’t able to do at the part-time office, along with financial assistance and other services.
During Monday’s ribbon-cutting, attendees were able to walk through the new BFA office, which featured a welcome and waiting room, offices, a storage and overhead room, and the food pantry that already had shelves lined with food.
Leland Mayor Brenda Bozeman, who attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony, said it “overwhelms my heart” to see people “care so much about others.”
“I think it’s going to help a lot of the people, not just from Leland itself, but from outlying areas here in the whole North Brunswick area,” she said.
Bowen said in a former interview that the goal of the BFA food pantry is to supplement existing services in Leland provided by organizations such as Manna Ministries of Leland and First Baptist Church of Leland, which operate food pantries and distribute food on limited schedules.
Though the Leland office was originally anticipated to open by the middle of 2018, Bowen said one of the main reasons BFA was able to open the Leland office in January was thanks to an additional appropriation of $15,000 made to the organization by Brunswick County last year.
“We weren’t anticipating opening this early, but once we got that funding and we knew we had the support of our county and our funders, we said ‘why not, why wait,’ ” Bowen said. “’Let’s get the services out there, let’s get people what they need.’”
|Want to go?|
|What:||Brunswick Family Assistance Leland office|
|Where:||Leland Business Center, 324-I Village Road, Leland|
|Time:||9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Mon-Thu, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Fri, closed daily from 12 to 1 p.m.|
Beth Lewis, a BFA part-time employee who had been working at Leland’s part-time office, said now that the full-time office is open, she believes it will “relieve the pressure” a client would normally feel if they had to drive all the way to Shallotte for the food pantry.
“It’s been a blessing to be able to open it,” she said. “I hope it’s a blessing for those in need.”
Reporter Makenzie Holland can be reached at 910-343-2371 or Makenzie.Holland@StarNewsOnline.com.
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