In addition, each summer, CORA distributes food to more than 1,500 hungry kids who depend on federal school meals for adequate nutrition during the school year, but who have little or no replacement for this nutrition when school is not in session. SNACK! provides food for these meals: seven breakfasts, seven lunches, and seven dinners, for 10 weeks (mid-June – mid-August).
Melissa has worked in the nonprofit sector for 27 years and is clearly passionate about the work, making sure she can drive forward the organization’s mission to make an impact. She emphasized that serving others and achieving impact is what matters most to her. The abundance of programs and enthusiastic team members, volunteers, and contributors fuels the organization. “Chatham County – the entire community – has been incredibly supportive of CORA and has a valuable understanding of food insecurity within the community.” Specifically, Melissa’s motivation, and reward, comes from being able to provide for those in need and collaborate with CORA volunteers and partners to do more each year for those they serve.
The leader: Melissa Driver Beard
What would you do if you were not in your current industry? Travel
Favorite food, beverage, and season? And why?
My favorite food is chocolate!
Beverage is beetroot, pineapple, mint juice. I’ve always loved chocolate; my sweet tooth is a problem. The beetroot, pineapple, mint juice is a drink I came to love when I worked in Rwanda and it reminds me of my time there.
My favorite season is fall. I love cool, crisp days and sleeping with the windows open.
Why did you join the Chatham Food Hub?
I’m always excited about innovative ideas that bring something new and different to the community. From CORA’s perspective, this is a step toward achieving equity by allowing everyone a place at The Hub.
Efforts to keep everyone safe include cautious practices; currently, clients cannot enter the Pantry to shop for groceries. Client intake takes place outdoors and families receive their groceries curbside in their car. They are open three days a week, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 10am – 1pm. Families receive one week’s worth of groceries at each visit. When families have chronic food needs beyond six visits, CORA makes sure they receive the support they need. Mobile Market takes place on the fourth Tuesday of each month from 10am – 12pm.
General hours of operation: Mon – Fri, 10am – 2pm and the first Saturday of each month, 10am – 12pm (excluding state holidays). Please note, due to COVID-19, hours and service is adjusted as noted above.
About the Hub
Contact us for details about contributing to the Chatham Food Hub. Special thanks to Eleanor Wertman, Program Manager, Community Health, UNC Health Alliance | Population Health Services and The Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention. All vendors are encouraged to join the Count On Me NC initiative, a joint effort created by government and health officials in partnership with industry leaders from across the state.