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Chatham Outreach Alliance (CORA) is dedicated to acquiring and distributing food to Chatham County residents who have a need for temporary community support to keep themselves and their families fed.
CORA, the Pittsboro food pantry is an all volunteer organization (as of now) with the sole mission to acquire and distribute food to Chatham County residents who have a need for temporary support to keep themselves and their families fed. It is CORA's core belief, that it is our obligation as citizens of this community to combat hunger, whatever its cause may be and do so in a nondiscriminatory way.
At present, families (clients) are being served up to four (4) times within a twelve (12) months period to support themselves during a period of need while they are under care of a social services agency (see below); during each visit families receive food (groceries) for seven (7) days based on a nutritionally balanced diet.
CORA started to serve families on 52 occasions in 1989, reaching 500 family visits in 2000 and 1200 visits in 2002. CORA expects to handle 2400 family visits during its fiscal year 2006/2007. This equals 8400 people (adults and children). Families will have received the equivalent of 176,000 meals. Assuming that each family is served twice on average during a twelve months period, CORA will have served 1200 families/4200 people in 2006/2007.
So far, CORA depends entirely on private (individual and organizations) donations of food and cash. We buy food at the Durham Branch of the NC Food Bank at 20c per pound. We also buy food from Lowes Food and few other retail stores at marginally reduced prices and through the donation of Lowes' "green points". TEFAP (The Emergency Federal Assistance Program) provides food monthly at no cost. A major source of food and cash are regular food drives in several Chatham County neighborhoods, churches, schools and others (36 in total during 2006). Finally, CORA's largest single source of funds is the annual Chatham County Hunger Walk ($26,000 in 2006/2007).
CORA works closely with over 20 referral agencies (Department of Social Services, Chatham County Family Resource Center, JOCCA, Counsel of Aging; Salvation Army, Churches; and others) who's mission it is to help individuals and families to overcome various crisis and emergency situations and to identify and verify their need for temporary food assistance.The CORA food pantry, located in Pittsboro, is open every weekday for a total of 18 hours per week. A total of well over 100 volunteers cover the entire spectrum of responsibilities, starting from serving "clients", to pantry management, provisioning, volunteer coordinating, agency relations, statistics, PR/marketing, donor support, event planning, financial reporting; and others. Volunteer hrs. per year are estimated with 3500. As of now, CORA has no paid professional staff.
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