The mission of Loving Food Resources (LFR) is to provide food, health, and personal care items to people in 18 counties of Western North Carolina who are living with HIV/AIDS or who are in Home Hospice care regardless of diagnosis.
LFR was founded in November 1991 by three gentlemen living with HIV/AIDS who, along with their friends, were too often having to choose between buying food or the medications to keep them alive. Since then, LFR has grown to serve approximately 100 clients per week. In the early days, volunteers packed boxes of food for clients to pick up; then LFR advanced from prepackaged boxes to client choice where clients could shop from shelves, coolers, and freezers. With the onset of COVID-19 in 2020, LFR had to return to prepackaged boxes which clients either pick up, or if they cannot drive, are delivered to their residences. Each food box averages approximately 50 lbs.
LFR has been an all-volunteer agency for 29 years, and volunteers remain the heart and soul of our organization. More than 100 volunteers participate in LFR’s work. In 2015, the LFR Board of Directors made the crucial decision to hire its first Director to expand LFR’s impact, feed more people, and ensure the ongoing operation of its programs. Nancy Gavin began work as the first paid Director in June 2015; Ellen Anastos signed on to the position in 2017; and, Brent Wyatt was hired as the Executive Director in September 2019. Under Brent’s leadership, LFR continues to grow and serve more clients in the 18 counties of Western North Carolina.
The majority of LFR’s food comes from MANNA FoodBank (a member of Feeding America). Additional food comes weekly from Harris Teeter, Trader Joes, and generous donations from organizations and individuals. Produce is obtained from MANNA, from LFR’s raised bed garden, from Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church Community Gardens, and from individual gardens. We also obtain produce from Mountain Food Products at a discounted rate. Fresh produce is an essential portion of the food provided. Large food drives from area churches also supplement our food resources.
The COVID-19 outbreak in early 2020 forced LFR to deviate from “business as usual.” Everyone working and volunteering at LFR is now required to take measures recommended by the CDC to remain safe from this life-threatening virus. Clients no longer “shop” at the food pantry, but are once again receiving pre-packaged boxes that are either delivered or picked up at the pantry by those with vehicles. However, we remain adamant about feeding our clients and others who may need emergency food boxes for themselves and their families. And we won’t stop, but we need you now more than ever. Please donate: food, time, financial assistance.