Feeding Avery Families (FAF) is a non-profit Christian organization in Avery County, North Carolina, dedicated to eliminating hunger by any means possible including monetary donations, volunteerism, or food bank donations.
100% of all your efforts and/or contributions on behalf of Feeding Avery Families goes directly to Avery County families (including towns of Newland, Banner Elk, Elk Park, Pineola, Linville, Crossnore and Sugar Mountain) who still need help after exhausting all other available resources. FAF provided 60% of the food assistance in Avery County in 2017. We are an equal opportunity food provider.
Approximately 3,000 people (17%) living in Avery County experience some degree of uncertainty about their next meal during the year. That includes between 750 and 1,000 children. We are reaching less than 32% of those in need. Clearly what we are doing isn’t enough.
Most of our work is done by dedicated, hard-working volunteers – with about 150 in the spring, summer and fall months and about 75 during the winter when many seasonal residents are away.
Ways We Provide Food
We distribute food in Newland (508 Pineola Street behind Carolina BBQ) by appointment. Stop in on the first four Fridays each month, 9:30-11:30 AM or 1-3 PM, to learn more and schedule an appointment – we are closed each 5th Friday
Summer Children Feeding
We help to feed school children during the summer with delivery to their homes. Read more!
8 Community Food Pantries
Started in 2019, these food pantries are accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on the grounds of the following schools: Avery County High School, Newland Elementary, Riverside Elementary, Banner Elk Elementary, and Cranberry Middle/Freedom Trail Elementary. In June 2020, our food pantry in Crossnore opened behind Fellowship Presbyterian Church (1336 Walt Clark Rd, Newland). In April 2021, the Lees-McRae College pantry opened in their student center. An eighth pantry also opened outside the YMCA (by the playground) in 2021.
Backpacks for Kids
We deliver 300 small bags of food that school counselors put into backpacks of students. The bags are distributed twice a week to 150 children in Avery County schools. Volunteers packed the bags at Feeding Avery two days a month.
Backpacks for Seniors
In April 2021, we began partnering with Avery Senior Services to deliver “backpacks” to 80+ seniors that receive their home delivered meals. Backpacks are left every Friday to help provide recipients food during the weekend when meals are not delivered.
MANNA Monthly FoodBank Community Markets
Drive-thru food pick-up in Newland at 11:30 AM until food runs out – at the Old Rock School Gym, 185 Shady Street, Newland. Usually on 2nd Thursday of each month. Open to anyone that needs food! Check our Facebook page for more updates.
- June 10, 2021
- July 8, 2021
- August 12, 2021
- September 9, 2021
- October 14, 2021
- November 18, 2021 (third Thursday due to Veteran’s Day)
- December 9, 2021
Our health consultant is working on its partnerships with county and area businesses to provide further outreach and improve the health of clients and patients through nutrition education counseling and other health care services. We hope this allows us to reach even more hungry people in our communities – even working with doctors to write prescriptions for food. We will also focus more on getting more medically appropriate food to our clients with specific health needs.
Executive Director: Richard “Dick” M. Larson, MD (Left)
Co-Director: Jo-Ann McMurray (Right)
Secretary/Treasurer: Georgia Hollis
Bookkeeper: Patty Robinson
If you have questions, want to make a contribution, or volunteer, contact us at 828-783-8506. You can also mail Dick at P.O. Box 1075, Banner Elk, NC 28604.
Board of Directors
Cathy Fields, Tony O’Harrow, Sheila Bauer, Charles Baker, MD, Carol Tuggle, Laura Carringer-Russell, McNair Tornow, Michael McKee, Tammy Woodie