Edenton-Chowan Food Pantry

Creating hope by reducing food insecurity in Chowan County

EDENTON, NC   |  www.edenton-chowanpantry.org


The mission of the Edenton-Chowan Food Pantry is to provide assistance to food insecure families living in Chowan County, with a focus on at-risk children and the elderly. We strive to feed hope as well as hunger.

Ruling year info


President, Board of Directors

Mr. Larry Ekberg

Programs Director

Ms. Karen Harrington

Main address

PO BOX 643


Show more contact info



NTEE code info

Emergency Assistance (Food, Clothing, Cash) (P60)

Food Banks, Food Pantries (K31)

Emergency Assistance (Food, Clothing, Cash) (P60)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is not required to file an annual return with the IRS because it is a religious organization.


Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

For the past 37 years, the Edenton-Chowan Food Pantry has been the primary provider of food assistance to low-income families living in Chowan Country, NC. While food insecurity exists in every corner of the United States, as one of the more economically disadvantaged counties in the state, it is particularly chronic in Chowan County. • 24.4% of the population lives below the poverty level compared to 16.8% in the state. (Source: 2019 Community Health Needs Assessment) • 18.6% of the county’s population (2,700 people) is food insecure meaning the household is unable to provide enough nourishing food for each person to live an active, healthy life. (Source: Feeding America October 2019) • 2 out of every 3 students attending Chowan County schools qualifies for free or reduced lunch. With a child food insecurity rate of 25.8%, Edenton-Chowan Public Schools has one of the highest rates in the state. (Source: 2019 Roadmap of Need) • 51% of the children attending Chowan County schools come from single parent households, as opposed to 36% state-wide. (Source: 2019 Roadmap of Need) Food insecurity is greater in single parent households and increases exponentially when that parent loses their job, becomes ill or must stay home to care for the children as is happening with COVID-19. • Enrollment increased 34% in our 2020/21 Book Bag Buddies weekend meal program for elementary and middle school children; an unprecedented increase believed to be related to the loss of jobs stemming from COVID-19. The food pantry receives enormous support from our volunteers, partners, sponsoring churches, and donors demonstrating their shared understanding of this critical need and their unwavering support for our mission. The Edenton-Chowan Food Pantry is a member agency of the Food Bank of the Albemarle and Feeding America.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Monthly Food Assistance Program

Three to five days of supplemental food assistance is provided to eligible families once a month. While food package contents vary from day to day, assistance will generally include fresh fruits and vegetables; frozen meat, bread and bakery items; and a variety of shelf-stable products. Food comes from multiple sources including donations from Food Lion; food drives organized by individuals, churches, businesses, and community groups; the USDA, purchases from wholesale food clubs, and bulk produce from local farmers and the Food Bank of the Albemarle.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people

Provides weekend meals to elementary and middle school children during the academic school year, when school-based free/reduced price breakfast and lunch is not available. Weekend meals consisting of two breakfasts, two lunches, two snacks and two pieces of fresh fruit are meals are discretely distributed to students as they depart for home on Friday afternoon.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
At-risk youth

Operating from early June through mid August, when free and reduced-price school breakfast and lunch programs are not available, the Food Pantry provides food assistance one evening a week to any family with school aged children. While the list of groceries distributed varies each week, participants receive 25 to 40 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables, frozen meats and bakery products, and a variety of shelf stable items, with larger households receiving proportionately more. Child-friendly items such as hot dogs, mac and cheese, and peanut butter and jelly are featured.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
At-risk youth

Available to any Chowan County resident that needs food, regardless of the reason, families receive three to five days of food to carry them over until they can apply for further assistance. Special food boxes are available for those who do not have cooking facilities, which is often the case. While referrals are regularly received from the Department of Social Services and other agencies, Chowan County Schools, and our sponsoring churches a referral is not required to receive food.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Unemployed people

The Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) is a once a month food distribution program administered on the behalf of the U.S. government for individuals 60 years of age and older. Participants receive approximately 30-35 pounds of shelf-stable groceries such as cheese, hot cereal, peanut butter, pasta, spaghetti sauce, and canned meats, fruits and vegetables. Eligibility guidelines are determined by the U.S. government and consider such things as age, residence, gross monthly income and household size.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

In the past, the Edenton-Chowan Food Pantry relied primarily on public awareness of needs when faced with a shortage of food items for distribution. Our expertise in fundraising was limited and resulted in mixed success.

In 2017, however, the Edenton-Chowan Food Pantry received a challenge grant of $100,000 from a former Edenton resident who wanted to give back to his community. The challenge required that over a six month period, a matching amount of $100,000 be raised locally. The combined funds would be used to establish the Edenton-Chowan Food Pantry Endowment that would a small amount of annual funding in perpetuity.

The Food Pantry was more than successful in meeting this challenge ultimately establishing an endowment of $250,000 with the North Carolina Community Foundation. Up to 5% of this amount will be available annually, beginning in 2019, to assist the Edenton-Chowan Food Pantry in accomplishing it's mission of preventing hunger and malnutrition in Chowan County.

Achieving the "100 Grand Challenge" resulted in greater public awareness about the needs of the food insecure living in Chowan County and raised community expectation that our Board would become more proactive in addressing those needs.

In response to greater awareness and greater expectations, the Board has altered their mindset from: How do we best use our limited resources? To: What is the need and how can we acquire the resources required to address that need?

Our goal for 2021 is to more clearly define the "meal gap" and develop a plan for closing it.

Created a fr committee to continue the momentum and build our expertise
Build fundraising tools
Expand our storage capabilities so we can store more food

The Edenton-Chowan Food Pantry Board has recently developed a fund raising plan with a committee named to oversee its implementation. The beginning point will be a focus on maintaining the enthusiasm and generosity that allowed our community to raise over $150,000 in a six month period.

This will be begin with a "Thank You Celebration" in March 2018 to honor contributors at a reception and program that highlights the importance of the food pantry, the community needs being served and the capability of our volunteer organization to meet future challenges.

Other strategies for developing consistency of support include the following:
1. Developing a list of all food pantry contributors over the past several years in order to maintain regular contact with all donors on services and needs.
2. Upgrading of web site developed to encourage on-line giving.
3. Developing a brochure on the programs provided by the food pantry to further establish awareness and credibility.
4. Expand the funding base of the food pantry to include fund raising events and preparation of grants to local foundations.
5. Expand the number of sponsoring churches for the organization in order to encourage greater community awareness and additional resources including volunteers, food donations and financial support.

The Edenton-Chowan Food Pantry is a well respected organization built around a strong Board of Directors, an experienced executive director, broad support from area churches, and a talented group of volunteers who spend a minimum of three hours per month in acquiring and distributing food.

Our Board: The Board of the Edenton-Chowan Food Pantry is comprised of representatives from ten sponsoring churches and three members-at-large. Our president is Dr. Gerard Cooney, a retired executive from a major international pharmaceutical company with experience in product promotion and staff training. He is beginning his first term as Board president.

Our Executive Director: Dr. Roger Coleman is the Executive Director of the food pantry and is one of three employees receiving stipends for part-time work. Dr. Coleman is a retired clergyman with over 40 year's experience in community development activities including leadership in both local and international food distribution programs. He is beginning his third year as food pantry director.

Our Sponsoring Churches: The Edenton-Chowan Food Pantry was founded 35 years ago by St. Paul's Episcopal Church. It is now sponsored by ten area church from throughout Chowan County. Requirements for becoming a sponsoring church is to provide a representative on the food pantry Board, to provide financial and food donations, and to encourage volunteer involvement. Though all denominations are represented, there is a common agreement that faith is best expressed in service to others.

Our Volunteers: Over 75 individuals donate a minimum of three hours each month to help with the acquisition and distribution of food to needy families through the various programs sponsored by the Edenton-Chowan Food Pantry. This is made possible, in part, because of the high concentration of retirees in Edenton and Chowan County giving our organization an exceptional, highly trained group of workers. It is also made possible by a culture that encourages community involvement.

These human resources will form the backbone for moving the Edenton-Chowan Food Pantry into the future.

The fist step in implementing our plan will come in a few days when we host a "Thank You Celebration" for all contributors to the successful Edenton-Chowan Food Pantry Endowment.

A fund raising committee is being finalized and a list of all recent donors is being prepared. Grant requests have also been prepared for foundations that, in the past, have not contributed.


Edenton-Chowan Food Pantry

Unlock financial insights by subscribing to our monthly plan.


Unlock nonprofit financial insights that will help you make more informed decisions. Try our monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights?
Learn more about GuideStar Pro.


The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


Connect with nonprofit leaders


Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.


Connect with nonprofit leaders


Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Edenton-Chowan Food Pantry

Board of directors
as of 07/12/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Mr. Larry Ekberg

Keith Rollins

Rocky Hock Baptist Church

Bob Bastek

St. Anne Catholic Church

Craig Miller

St. Paul's Episcopal Church

Cheri Blount

Dept. of Social Services

Kathy Hynes

First Presbyterian Church

Lisa Hoggard

Edenton United Methodist Church

John Shannon

Providence Missionary Baptist Church

Jay Swicegood

Edenton Baptist Church

Diane McMenamin

At-Large Member

Kathy Lillard

Brandon Chapel

Pat Ashe

St. John's Missionary Baptist

Rose Hawkins-Cooper

Gale St. Baptist

Bob Decker

Open Door Church

Martha Hathaway

St. Mark's Pentacostal

Wilma Hogge

Chowan Christian Fellowship

Becky McArthur

Macedonia Baptist

Tom Brown

Uniterian Universalist Fellowship

Chris Sykes


Lois Thompson

Warren's Grove Baptist