Inter-Faith Council for Social Service

Confronting Poverty, Building Community

aka IFC   |   Carrboro, NC   |


IFC confronts the causes and responds to the effects of poverty in our community. We believe in a community where everyone's basic needs are met, including dignified and affordable housing, an abundance of healthy food, and meaningful social connection.

Ruling year info


President and CEO

Ms. Jackie Jenks

Main address

110 W. Main Street

Carrboro, NC 27510 USA

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NTEE code info

Temporary Shelter For the Homeless (L41)

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

Food Banks, Food Pantries (K31)

IRS filing requirement

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

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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?

Food Security Programs: Community Kitchen, Community Market, Food for the Summer

People who live or work in Chapel Hill-Carrboro are eligible for Community Market services. Every month, Community Market sends home 1,100 bags of groceries to individuals and families who need help stretching their grocery budgets. Members may come as often as every month. Holiday meals with all of the trimmings are distributed at Thanksgiving and in December.

Community Kitchen serves almost 40,000 free meals a year to anyone who is hungry: lunch every day and dinner every weekday. An additional 28,800 meals are served on-site to shelter residents. Volunteer groups prepare, serve and clean up meals, in addition to picking up, sorting, and storing food donations. Kitchen staff sends out excess food to low-income senior housing residents and partner food pantries every week.

IFC is the lead agency in the Food for the Summer partnership, which provides food and enrichment activities during the summer months to children who have access to free or reduced lunch during the school year.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Homeless people

Community House and HomeStart are the only shelters in Orange County for homeless men, women and families. Both locations provide safe living accommodations, meals, and laundry facilities. Staff and volunteer case managers support 52 men, 14 women and 10 families transitioning to permanent housing. Personalized assistance may include help with housing applications, budgeting, and job coaching, plus access to resources like substance use treatment and clothing. Piedmont Health Services coordinates on-site medical, dental and behavioral health care, which is available to all residents. Both locations provide emergency shelter for up to 20 more people during inclement weather.

Permanent Supportive Housing serves the County’s 14 most vulnerable, chronically homeless residents, as determined in partnership with the Orange County Partnership to End Homelessness. Case managers recruit landlords and provide rental assistance for scattered-site, market-rate housing units. Once residents are housed, the case manager troubleshoots issues, liaises with landlords and neighbors, and facilitates access to needed resources. These may include mental health and substance use treatment, medical or dental care, food, clothing, credit repair, and financial or job search assistance. Participants are encouraged to identify natural supports –neighbors, faith community members – and integrate into community life.

Population(s) Served
Homeless people
Unemployed people

Emergency assistance to prevent homelessness is available to anyone who faces destabilizing economic crisis, illness or acute hardship and lives or works in Chapel Hill-Carrboro. On average, staff and volunteers see 13 households each week. Available services to alleviate household financial stress include: rent and utility assistance; essential medication purchase; vouchers for clothing or transportation; help obtaining government identification or benefits assistance; and information and referrals to existing community resources.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Unemployed people

IFC fosters belonging and resilience through advocacy and participation in the democratic process. People experiencing poverty and homelessness meet monthly to build leadership and advocacy skills, preparing to raise their voices in public policy forums. IFC stands with our residents and members to address head on the issues that prevent full participation in community life: lack of affordable housing and living wage employment, food insecurity, insufficient public transit and more.

IFC provides hospitable common space for diverse members of the community to gather, make meaningful social connection, and build a natural support network. To meet people’s needs and encourage visits, we offer access to restrooms and phones, a place to rest out of the elements, and a permanent address for mail delivery.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people
Homeless people

Where we work


Agency of Excellence 2013

United Way

Affiliations & memberships

United Way Member Agency 1965

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.

The Inter-Faith Council for Social Service (IFC) strives to fill gaps in the social safety net. With help from community volunteers and support from our donors, IFC works to alleviate homelessness, hunger and poverty—helping people become self-sufficient by providing shelter, food, direct support, medical services and referrals. IFC provides safe accommodations for some 100 homeless people every night. Our community kitchen provides hot, nutritious meals every day (including holidays) to anyone who is hungry. Our food pantry distributes emergency food assistance. We also provide substantial amounts financial assistance and have partnered with Piedmont Health Services that provides medical/mental health/dental clinics for our residents.

Our clients usually come to us when they are faced with a crisis. They may be homeless, food insecure, unemployed, fleeing domestic violence, unable to pay a utility bill or facing eviction. Crisis situations are often brought on by an accident, serious illness or the loss of a job. Many of our clients are elderly, disabled or they suffer from addictions or mental illness. The IFC provides food, shelter and other basic services to help them get back on their feet again. Recent cutbacks in state and federal human service programs make IFC services even more critical and necessary.

IFC is hoping to consolidate the community kitchen and food pantry into a food operations center called FoodFirst in Carrboro. Having a combined food program in one location will maximize space, staff and volunteer resources and offer a more efficient and effective way to feed the hungry in our community.

IFC continually mobilizes in-kind donations (donated facilities, goods and volunteer services) to complement our cash resources. We are not in a position to purchase the quantity of food we provide through either of our food programs. Our agency receives more in-kind donations than monetary contributions.

While the IFC relies heavily on volunteers and in-kind donations, operating expenses are unavoidable. The IFC has a long history of keeping administrative costs to a minimum while providing critical services that have positive impact on the community. We have 20 full and 8 part-time employees who help coordinate our hundreds of volunteers. With this modest staff, we operate critical food and residential programs, including two homeless shelters that operate 24/7 year round. Our latest audit shows that 85% of our budget went towards program expenses.

We receive funding and other support from our local governments (the Towns of Chapel Hill and Carrboro, and Orange County). IFC currently receives support from HUD's Emergency Solutions Grants and The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP). However, the Federal Government and the State of North Carolina have been making drastic cuts to social programs in recent years. Proposed cuts in food programs such as food stamps (SNAP) and WIC might result in increased demand for food from IFC. Steadily eroding government funding makes it hard for the IFC to maintain its current levels of services, but during these difficult economic times, scaling back is not an option for us. We are employing a variety of strategies to meet the needs of our clients in order to sustain current service levels.

In order to accomplish so much with a small staff and limited financial resources, the IFC relies on partnerships with other community organizations. Our key strategy for success is to rely on donations from the community and the active involvement of caring individuals, congregations and businesses. We actively collaborate with over 60 faith-based community partners. We have over 100 restaurants that participate in our annual anti-hunger fundraiser called Restaurants Sharing Ten Percent (RSVVP). Volunteer medical professionals provide free health and mental health care to our homeless residents.

The Inter-Faith Council for Social Service (IFC) meets basic needs and helps individuals and families achieve their goals. We provide shelter, food, direct services, advocacy and information to people in need. We accomplish this through strong partnerships with volunteers, staff and those we serve. We rely on the active involvement of caring individuals, congregations and other community organizations.

The IFC was founded in 1963 to address the significant gaps that existed in the social safety net of our community. Seven local churchwomen created the IFC "to discover unmet needs and to respond through the coordinated efforts of volunteers. More than 50 years later, the IFC is the principal agency in Orange County for mobilizing our community to address homelessness, hunger and economic disparity.

So, the IFC began as a volunteer-run organization. Without volunteers, the IFC would not be able to provide the same level of services to those in need. Volunteer social workers coordinate care and connect residents with resources for stabilization and progress toward permanent housing. Throughout the agency, volunteers and interns work more hours than our full-time staff.

The IFC partners with large numbers of congregations and faith groups that bring hope and opportunity to local households and our neighbors in need. The IFC has an active Congregations Committee serving under its Board of Directors. The Congregations Committee is comprised of liaisons who serve as a link between their respective congregation and the IFC.

The IFC relies heavily on volunteers and in-kind donations. With only about 10% of our revenues coming from public sources, we rely on the generosity of individuals, congregations, businesses, foundations and other friends. The United Way of the Greater Triangle named IFC a “Partner Agency of Excellence" for meeting all their essential best practices criteria.

The IFC has succeeded in operating critical safety-net programs: a homeless shelter for men, transitional housing for women and children, a soup kitchen, a food pantry and crisis intervention. We managed to weather the Great Recession, when many local non-profits were struggling, and when demand for our services increased.

Our food pantry has never run out of food, so we never had to turn anyone away. When supplies are low, we turn to our congregations and other community groups for donations. We have thousands of household members who are eligible for monthly groceries on an as-needed basis. The Community Kitchen serves real, home-cooked food on a shoe-string budget. The Kitchen has only one paid staff who works with a host of volunteers. Almost all the food is donated by local businesses and would otherwise end up in the landfill. Thanks to the IFC, people do not have to go hungry in this community.

IFC operates a Crisis Intervention Program to prevent homelessness. This program provides food, clothing, rent, utility assistance, help obtaining IDs, bus passes, information and referrals. Some local churches worked with IFC to create a shared database that member congregations can access to better coordinate the distribution of discretionary funds. IFC facilitates collaboration among congregations so that they can respond more effectively to local poverty issues.

HomeStart offers homeless women a variety of services through community partnerships. Our women are able to acquire education, job training and skills for independent living while staying with us. Community House men's transitional housing facility offers programs and supportive services to empower its 52 homeless male residents to transform their lives.

The IFC hopes to consolidate it with the Food Pantry in downtown Carrboro. This new food operations center will called FoodFirst. Combining IFC's kitchen and pantry into one location will maximize food, space, staff and volunteer resources and provide a more effective response to local food insecurity.


Inter-Faith Council for Social Service

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Inter-Faith Council for Social Service

Board of directors
as of 11/28/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Vicky Kim

Board co-chair

Susan Laidlaw

Robert Seymour

Honorary Lifetime Board Member

Amy Rix

Piedmont Health Services

Molly DeMarco

UNC-Chapel Hill

Jay Miller

Christine Abernathy

Cameron Barr

Susan Berendzen

Tom Bond

Ronald Carnes

Donna Carrington

Angel Davalos

Wendi Goods Everson

Tom Fenn

Michelle Hamilton

Mariela Hernandez

Will Rose

Jan Lee Santos

Dow Williamson

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 11/28/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

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Sexual orientation

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