Giving Back: CORA Food Pantry
Back in 2015, the process for renovating and reimagining the Chatham Outreach Alliance (CORA) Food Pantry space began. This July, that space reopened to the Chatham County community, continuing its mission of providing access to nutritious food for local families. According to the 2022 census, nearly 12% of Chatham County’s residence live in poverty, making resources such as the CORA Food Pantry a necessity to its residents. Your involvement in your community matters, make it count at CORA Food Pantry!
What It’s About:
As a nonprofit organization, CORA serves residents facing food insecurity, working to build a community without hunger. The people they serve come from diverse backgrounds; they are families, students and older adults. Built on the values of compassion and respect, CORA is a place for individuals to feel dignified and supported.
Much like a grocery store, community members can visit for choice shopping, selecting the items that best serve their needs. The food pantry is open five days a week, on Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for choice shopping and on Friday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. for drive-through service.
Alternative options include a satellite pantry at Freedom Family Church in Siler City on the first and third Saturday of each month from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and a home delivery service for residents with physical difficulties, disabilities or medical conditions.
When they say it takes a village, they mean it. Community partnerships are integral to the mission of CORA. Special projects are offered for individuals and groups, providing short-term opportunities for volunteers to serve at irregular hours or during evenings, weekends and holidays. Volunteers are encouraged to partner with CORA through:
- Walk/Run for Hunger
- Organizing a Food Drive
- Representing CORA at Exhibits and Fairs
- Assist at Evening/Weekend Activities and Events
- Working in the Pantry to Paint, Clean and Organize
To support CORA in an upcoming project, contact them at [email protected].
The start of the school calendar year is quickly approaching. As one in five children in North Carolina experiences hunger regularly, nearly one-third of Chatham County students receive free and reduced lunch through the National Lunch Program. On the weekends, CORA provides food on the weekends and during school breaks to children receiving assistance through CORApacks.
Children who benefit from this program receive a monthly food box delivered to their home, containing three meals and two daily snacks for when a child is not in school. Partner schools include Chatham Grove Elementary School, Pollard Middle School and Northwoods High School. To get your school involved, contact Mackie Hunter at [email protected].
Volunteers are the backbone of CORA’s mission, which requires more than 9,000 hours of annual work contributed by volunteers. Volunteers assist by stocking shelves, helping families shop, organizing food drives and supporting fundraising events. Opportunities are available for individuals or groups.
Volunteers must meet the minimum age requirement of 16 years old and are encouraged to attend an orientation to tour the pantry and learn more about CORA’s work in the community. Following orientation, volunteers will have access to an online scheduling system to register for shifts. Interested individuals can submit their information online!
Short on time? You can still give to CORA’s mission by becoming a donor. Monthly donors make automatic donations each month, enabling CORA to establish long-term, budget-conscious goals. Community members are also welcome to donate food items, which can be dropped on at 40 Camp Drive in Pittsboro on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. However you choose to support, your impact matters.