Yokefellow provides food assistance for households in Lenoir, distributing food to those in need on a monthly basis. During 2021, Yokefellow received and distributed on average 30,000 pounds – or 15 tons – of food each month.
The Food Pantry is located at Yokefellow's headquarters in Lenoir and is open Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. 9 am until Noon and 1-4 pm, for food distribution, as well as for accepting donations of food. The food pantry door is located on the left side of the building.
In addition, Yokefellow has a monthly off-premises Mobile Food Pantry targeting senior citizens at seven different sites. There is also a Mobile Food Pantry at the Happy Valley Medical Center on the second Saturday of each month from 9 am until 10 am. Another is at the Kings Creek Fire Department on the third Saturday of each month, also from 9 am until 10 am.
In July 2021, Yokefellow launched “Yoke To Go,” a program that makes bagged meals available at Yokefellow on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 3 pm until the bags are gone. The staggering increase in homelessness and food insecurity in Caldwell County prompted the creation of this program, with the bagged meals donated by churches and other organizations in the community. This service is provided for those who may or may not have had a meal at the Lenoir Soup Kitchen when it was open earlier in the day.
- 244,414 Pounds of Food Donated to Yokefellow
- 20,415 People Served
- More than 300 families per week
- 102,075 Meals Provided
- Includes 10,264 nutritious meals to residents at LEOS (Lenoir Emergency Operations Shelter)
- 139 Diaper Assists
- 1,038 Toiletries Assists
Facts About Hunger and Poverty
Hunger is a familiar physical sensation, but can be hard to measure. The USDA defines food insecurity as a state in which “consistent access to adequate food is limited by a lack of money and other resources at times during the year.” Good shorthand terms for food insecurity are “struggling to avoid hunger,” “hungry, or at risk of hunger,” and “hungry, or faced by the threat of hunger.”
Even in the world’s greatest food-producing nation, children and adults face poverty and hunger in every county across America.
34 million people live in poverty in America. For a family of four, that means earning just $25,000 per year as a nationwide average.
In 2020, more than 38 million people faced hunger in the United States, including more than 12 million children.
What about Caldwell County? How many of our neighbors are food insecure?
According to the 2019 Feeding America Map the Meal Gap study, the national food insecurity rate is 10.9 percent. Caldwell County’s food insecurity rate is 15.6 percent, an increase from 13.1 percent in 2017. The NC food insecurity rate is 19.4 percent.
According to the same 2019 Map the Meal Gap study, the national child food insecurity rate is 14.6 percent. The NC child food insecurity rate is 18.3 percent and Caldwell County’s child food insecurity rate is 27.5 percent.
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