It all began with a few cans of tuna.
In the throes of the recession in 2010, Christine Cotton, Debbie Horwitz, and Susan Romaine came up with a simple idea to help neighbors without enough food to eat. The three friends reached out to a few of their neighbors in the Lake Hogan Farms development in Chapel Hill, inviting them to leave cans of tuna on their porch. On a designated day, they would then go porch-to-porch, pick up the cans, and bring the haul to a local hunger relief organization packing cans of tuna into its weekend backpacks.
What began as a small neighborhood food drive has grown by leaps and bounds. PORCH (People Offering Relief for Chapel Hill-Carrboro Homes) now hosts monthly food drives in over 100 neighborhoods. The wide variety of donated non-perishables – everything from boxes of cereal and granola bars to bags of beans and rice – restock the shelves at a dozen local hunger relief organizations. Month after month, year after year, all of those porch pick-ups add up: PORCH has now delivered nearly $3 million in hunger relief for Chapel Hill-Carrboro homes. Together, its affiliates in Chatham County, Charlotte, Durham, Hillsborough, Raleigh, and several other nearby cities have matched that relief.
The power of one: one time a month, one neighborhood coordinator, one street, one porch, even just one canned good. If each of us steps up, it’s amazing what we as a community can accomplish. Try feeding one yourself. It may take you to a place you would never have imagined in your wildest dreams.