Carrboro Commons

Volunteers organize food for Carrboro children

by Kelsey Kusterer
Carrboro Commons Staff Writer

Friday marked the addition of fresh milk and bread to backpacks full of food packaged for local children by TABLE, a nonprofit located at 205 W. Weaver St. in Carrboro.

TABLE Director Joy MacVane welcomes the additional food because she says most backpack programs in North Carolina don’t offer fresh bread and milk. The bread was donated by Whole Foods Market, located at 81 S. Elliot Road in Chapel Hill, and the milk by Maple View Farm, located outside Chapel Hill.

kusterer_backpacksfinal.jpgUNC-CH seniors Cordon Folds and Sabrina Rainey organize food to be placed in backpacks for local children on Feb. 13. Folds is a nutrition major from Carrboro and Rainey is a psychology major from Raleigh. Friday marked the first issue of backpacks to include fresh milk and bread.
Staff photo by Kelsey Kusterer

“There are a lot of hungry kids in this country; it’s something that needs to be addressed,” said Roger Nutter, owner of Maple View Farm Milk. “There are a lot of problems, but getting people fed is first. TABLE was a way we saw to help this. We donated 30 pints this week for the 30 kids, but if the need increases we will donate more.”

MacVane launched TABLE in the fall of 2007 with husband Ed Calamai and 12 student volunteers from UNC-Chapel Hill. The nonprofit provides backpacks for 30 school children each weekend. Kids who need support with food are identified by their after-school program directors, who seek out the assistance of TABLE.

“I think just with the economy and the way it is, a lot of families are struggling financially, and every bit counts,” said Ivette Mercabo, coordinator of the Airport Gardens after-school program, located at 821 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in Chapel Hill. “I know at one time at Christmas time we asked the parents what they really wanted. It was heartbreaking to hear that one parent—she just wanted food. … One of their greatest needs is just to feed their kids.”