Agriculture advocates James Hartsfield and Ned Highsmith enjoyed unpacking food on a table inside Clinton Courtyard. As they continued to pull stuff from boxes and bags, it was a step closer to fulfilling the mission of a statewide food drive.
Thanks to the generosity of agents from the Sampson County Center of North Carolina Cooperative Extension and community members, many residents will benefit from the donations.
The center participated in a statewide food drive to benefit areas throughout North Carolina, held in conjunction with the 30th Annual Small Farms Week Celebration, scheduled for Sunday, March 20, through Saturday, March 26. Sponsored by the Cooperative Extension Program at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University, its purpose is to pay tribute to small-scale farmers in North Carolina.
Donations were distributed to residents who live in Clinton Courtyard and Clinton Crossing. Tenants are 65 and older or disabled and many do not have their own personal transportation. Rent is based on income.
“I feel that it’s a good thing that we’re doing to help people,” said Hartsfield, an area specialized agent in farm management. “I think it’s a good thing that we can outreach and help.”
Estee Porter, property manager for Clinton Courtyard and Clinton Crossing, showed appreciation to the program.
“Being that we work with elderly and disabled, there are a lot of times that they can not afford food due to medial situations or just the income that they’re living in,” Porter said. “Having Cooperative Extension come in is just a blessing to us. It’s a huge help.”
Porter also thanked the community for their donations as well.
“If there’s anyone else in the community to help, we’d love for them to come by and see us,” Porter said.
By including the scope of the performance to include a food drive, Cooperative Extension’s purpose is to recognize farmers’ contributions to health and economy and food insecurity throughout the nation.
Extension directors from areas with the most donations will be honored at the Small Farms Week luncheon on March 23 at the university in Greensboro. Counties in North Carolina were asked to collaborate with N.C. A&T by collecting a minimum of 125 canned or non-perishable food items in each location to match the 125th anniversary of the university’s founding in 1891. The local cooperative extension exceeded that goal by collecting 256 food items.
Highsmith, a former member of N.C. A&T’s Strategic Planning Council and Cooperative Extension’s advisory board participant, enjoyed lending a hand as well.
“I feel great about it,” Highsmith said about passing the target. “That’s what we want to do.”
Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.