WINSTON-SALEM, NC -- It's "pay it forward" week on 2WTK and donating food is definitely one way you can make a difference. Second Harvest Food Bank in Winston-Salem has a 64,000 s.f. warehouse that collects food from grocery stores, distributors, and food drives. Executive Director Clyde Fitzgerald explains the process from there.
"We are like the 'United Way of food'. We obtain food from all these sources, and people can donate it knowing it's going to go to where it's needed the most."
Second Harvest's service area stretches from Boone to Burlington, serving more than 400 agencies. It distributes on average 25 tons of food a day so Clyde says it takes a strong pipeline to be able to have that kind of food processed and ready to distribute to the partners agencies.
The quality of food they get and give just as important as the quantity. Clyde says, "It's canned vegetables, no salt. It's canned fruits, especially if they're packed in their own juices versus heavy syrup. It's canned meats like tuna fish packed in water."
Volunteers work more than 37,000 hours a year in Second Harvest's warehouse. That's equivalent to 18 full time staff people. The majority sort food. "Every single item has to be inspected, packaged and made ready for our partner agencies to pick it up."
Clyde says, "People who come, often come back many, many times because they feel that they really accomplish something - they made a difference in people's lives. And we need help."
Here's a complete list by county of all the partner agencies by county that receive food from Second Harvest.