Press Release: NC 2-1-1 to Provide Assistance for COVID-

March 18, 2020- For Immediate Release: NC 2-1-1 to Provide Assistance for COVID-19


Winston Salem, NC: Governor Roy Cooper has announced that 2-1-1 is the number to call for assistance and resources related to the COVID-19 coronavirus.   NC 2-1-1 is an information and referral service, operated by United Way of North Carolina, where families and individuals can obtain free and confidential information on health and human service resources within their community 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Resources are available in most languages


United Way Forsyth County President and CEO, Cindy Gordineer notes, “We are proud to provide funding and support to bring 2-1-1 resources to Forsyth County. NC 2-1-1 is an important resource every day for families in our community who may experience a crisis such as food insecurity or unemployment.  During times like this with the COVID 19 crisis, the needs of all North Carolinians will increase and I am proud 2-1-1 will be here to help.”


“Services like NC 2-1-1 are critical during times of emergency,” said Governor Cooper. “We need to make sure North Carolinians have access to the resources they need while we continue to work together to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”


North Carolinians can text COVIDNC to 898211 to receive general information and updates about COVID-19.   Sign up now to get regular alerts on the rapidly evolving situation and North Carolina’s response.  Individuals who have specific needs related to food, shelter, energy assistance, housing, parenting resources, health care, substance abuse treatment, as well as specific resources for older adults and for persons with disabilities, and much more should dial 2-1-1 or TTY 888-892-1162 for assistance.  Due to expected high call volume, those wanting to stay updated on general developments with North Carolina’s response to the coronavirus crisis should sign up for 211’s text alerts by texting COVIDNC to 898211.


NC 2-1-1 cannot provide direct medical services, and COVID-19 can only be diagnosed by a health care professional.  If you suspect you or someone you care for may have symptoms or have been exposed to the virus, you should contact your health care provider. If you do not have a provider, you can call your local health department or a Federally Qualified Health Clinic for guidance.


To learn more about NC 2-1-1, visit For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19 in North Carolina, go to

Press Release: Partnership for Prosperity to Tackle Poverty in Winston-Salem


Office of the Mayor

March 15, 2019

Contact: Evan Raleigh, 336-397-7701;

Partnership for Prosperity to Tackle Poverty in Winston-Salem

         Mayor Allen Joines and N.C. Rep. Derwin L. Montgomery today announced formation of The Partnership for Prosperity, a new non-profit initiative that will work to implement the recommendations of the Poverty Thought Force.

        The partnership will work to create and implement an action plan for reducing the number of city residents affected by poverty. It will be guided by the recommendations of the Poverty Thought Force, formed by Joines and Montgomery in 2015 and tasked with finding local solutions that would be both impactful and feasible for reducing poverty. After studying the issue for 15 months, the thought force members came up with 56 recommendations and suggested that the community designate a person to work on this effort full-time.

        Accordingly, The Partnership for Prosperity will have an executive director and a community engagement associate, both of whom will work full-time, Joines said.

        “The issues that underlie the enduring persistence of poverty are complex and require a concerted effort to address,” Joines said. “By designating full-time staff, we hope to provide the comprehensive approach that will help us reduce poverty in our community.”

        Montgomery noted that in addition to implementing the recommendations of the Poverty Thought Force, the partnership will collaborate with the existing framework of agencies and programs that are working to reduce poverty. “There are numerous programs already working on this issue,” Montgomery said. “What the partnership can do is help us integrate these efforts so that they can have the maximum impact.” Montgomery said he is excited at the work the partnership will accomplish. “This is just the beginning.”

      John Railey, the former editorial page editor of the Winston-Salem Journal, will serve as the partnership’s executive director. Chanel Nestor, an adjunct lecturer of Rural Sociology and Sociology at N.C. A&T State University and a Winston-Salem native who grew up in the Happy Hill neighborhood, will serve as the community engagement associate.

        Railey said, “Chanel and I are thankful that the mayor and the Poverty Thought Force had the vision for this crucial initiative. We’re excited about starting it from the ground up: by listening to those living in poverty and aligning with them in the fight.”

        Support for the partnership is being provided by the city, BB&T, the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, Goodwill Industries of Northwest North Carolina, the United Way of Forsyth County and Wake Forest University.

        As an initial step, the partnership will hold a series of “listening sessions” with those who are living in poverty. The meetings are open to the public and will solicit input on the Poverty Thought Force recommendations and which of them the partnership should focus on implementing.

        Listening sessions will be held:

·         Monday, April 1, 1 p.m., Financial Pathways of the Piedmont, 7820 North Point Blvd., Suite 100.

·         Thursday, April 4, 1 p.m., Cleveland Homes Community Center, 1135 E. 15th St.

·         Thursday, April 4, 6 p.m., Skyline Village, 1528 Bruce St.

·         Friday, April 5, 2:30 p.m., The Community Mosque of Winston-Salem, 1419 Waughtown St.

·         Monday, April 8, 2 p.m., (Meeting of The Homeless Caucus) Central Library auditorium, 660 W. Fifth St.

·         Wednesday, April 10, 1:30 p.m., Crisis Control Ministry, 200 10th St. E.

·         Thursday, April 11, 6 p.m., Emmanuel Baptist Church, 1075 Shalimar Drive.

·         Wednesday, April 24, 1:30 p.m., Lloyd Presbyterian Church, 748 N. Chestnut St.

·         Wednesday, April 24, 8 p.m., Open Arms Community of the United Methodist Church, 437 E. Sprague St.

·         Thursday, April 25, 2 p.m., Experiment in Self-Reliance, 3480 Dominion St. NE.

        Railey can be reached at Nestor can be reached

WINSTON-SALEM, NC – United Way of Forsyth County Will Host Canned Food Drive to Support Second Harvest Food Bank January 21 – January 25, 2019

In 1994, Congress passed the King Holiday and Service Act, designating the Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Holiday as a national day of service.Taking place each year on the third Monday in January, the MLK Day of Service is the only federal holiday observed as a national day of service – a “day on, not a day off.”

The MLK Day of Service empowers individuals, strengthens communities, bridges barriers, creates solutions to social problems, and moves us closer to Dr. King’s vision of a “Beloved Community.”

This year United Way of Forsyth County, in observance of the MLK Day of Service  is partnering with Second Harvest Food Bank for a canned food drive to help support the increased need for food in light of the Government Shutdown.  Beginning January 21 and going through Friday January 25th from 8:30-5:00 pm each day the United Way of Forsyth County will be collecting canned foods at their office at 301 N. Main Street, Winston Tower, 17th tower.

Cindy Gordineer, President and CEO notes, “We know that many of the projects started on the Day of Service engage volunteers beyond the holiday and impact our community year-round . In light of the increased need for food, we hope this project will give additional support to our partners at Second Harvest”.

For more information contact Tahja Gaymon, Engagement Manager,



Governor’s Office Partners with No Kid Hungry School Breakfast Leadership Institute to Expand Access to School Breakfast in 10 School Districts

A new grant program will help expand school breakfast access in ten North Carolina School Districts, Governor Roy Cooper and First Lady Kristin Cooper announced today. As part of the 2018-19 Breakfast After the Bell Initiative, 10 North Carolina school districts will receive grant funding through No Kid Hungry and The Dairy Alliance to implement innovative breakfast programs in one or more schools each.

“Studies have shown that kids who start the day with breakfast perform better at school and have fewer discipline problems,” said Governor Cooper. “Making school breakfast universal and more easily accessible reduces the stigma.”

“We’re committed to ending childhood hunger in North Carolina,” said First Lady Kristin Cooper. “This grant will help ensure students have easy access to breakfast so they can start their day ready to learn, and we would like to see these efforts expanded to support the academic, social-emotional, and health benefits that eating breakfast brings.”

The program means grants totaling approximately $105,000 are being awarded to the following ten public school districts in North Carolina: Anson County Schools, Cabarrus County Schools, Cumberland County Schools, Edgecombe County Schools, Gaston County Schools, Johnston County Schools, Kannapolis City Schools, Public Schools of Robeson County, Wayne County Public Schools, and Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools. Each participating school district will receive between approximately $8,000 and $12,276.

These ten school districts were deemed eligible based on specific criteria set by the North Carolina School Breakfast Leadership Team using NC Department of Public Instruction meal claim data for the 2017-18 school year. The districts selected to participate also demonstrate the opportunity to increase school breakfast participation.

Breakfast After the Bell Models include: 
Breakfast in the Classroom: Students eat breakfast in their classroom after the official start of the school day. On average, schools reach 88 percent breakfast participation with this model.

Grab and Go to the Classroom:
Students pick up conveniently packaged breakfast items from mobile carts in high traffic areas, such as hallways or entryways, and eat their meals in the classroom or designated common areas.

Second Chance Breakfast: 
Second Chance Breakfast is particularly effective for middle and high school students. Students eat breakfast during a break in the morning, often between first and second period. Schools can use an innovative breakfast service model or open their cafeterias during this break.

School Nutrition Managers will monitor implementation and progress of the new breakfast service model within each school. Superintendents, School Nutrition Administrators, Principals, and other school leaders will also provide support.

Almost 60 percent of students in North Carolina qualify for free and reduced meals at school, but only 42 percent of those students eat school breakfast. Innovative Breakfast After the Bell models, such as Breakfast in the Classroom or Grab and Go, are cost-effective, efficient, and remove stigma to ensure more students start their day with a healthy meal.

The School Breakfast Leadership Institute will help school districts take advantage of federal funds, grant opportunities, and other resources to ensure all students begin their day fueled to learn.

The North Carolina School Breakfast Leadership Team consists of representatives from: the Office of the Governor of North Carolina; the Office of the First Lady of North Carolina; the NC Department of Public Instruction’s School Nutrition Services; No Kid Hungry NC; and Bladen County Schools.

The challenge of reaching hungry kids when school is out

JUDY WOODRUFF: For American children, summer is supposed to be a time of fun and games, but, for many, it is also a time of true need.

During the school year, roughly 22 million children in this country get free and reduced-price lunch. In the summer, those numbers drop dramatically. Just under four million have access to subsidized meals.

There are 50,000 locations providing summer meals, but reaching those who need the food can be a challenge.

WATCH: Hunger a persistent problem for poor Americans as Republicans mull SNAP cuts

Special PBS correspondent Lisa Stark of our partner Education Week traveled to Nebraska to see how one food bank is trying to fill the gap.

LISA STARK: It’s a scorching summer day in Plattsmouth, Nebraska, about 40 minutes south of Omaha, as the food truck lumbers into view. Despite the heat, families are lining up for lunch at what’s called Kids Cruisin’ Kitchen.

BECKY HAM, Parent: They get milk. They get fruit and vegetables. It’s really a nice program.

LISA STARK: Becky Ham and her children rely on the food truck a few times a week.

BECKY HAM: We started doing this about three summers ago when my husband lost his job right before the end of the school year. And we were really panicked about how we were going to make everything work.

LISA STARK: Ham’s husband has a new job, but the budget remains tight. The family still qualifies for free school lunches, and is thankful for the summer help.

BECKY HAM: It’s really helping kids out. It’s really helping families out when they need it.

LISA STARK: Kids Cruisin’ Kitchen was launched six years ago by Omaha’s Food Bank for the Heartland and Salvation Army.

With four food trucks and 10 fixed locations, it serves 1,300 children a day.

Do you get enough to eat at the food truck?

MARLINE AHMED, Kindergartener:  They give us a lot of meals.

LISA STARK: A lot of meals and a lot of food?



Susan Ogborn is the food bank president.

Who are you trying to help? Who’s your target here for the summer meals?

SUSAN OGBORN, President, Food Bank for the Heartland: Primarily, the children of the working poor. They are the folks who won’t tell you that they need help. They are the folks whose children qualify for free or reduced price-lunches.

LISA STARK: Preparing these meals begins early in the morning in an industrial kitchen run by an Omaha area school district. They make meals for Kids Cruisin’ Kitchen and other summer meal programs.

JACKIE CAMBRIDGE, Contract Meal Services, Westside Community Schools: We do about 3,000 meals a day during the summer.

LISA STARK: In less than three hours on this morning, corn dogs are cooked, bananas packed, chocolate milk readied, sack lunches bagged, chicken patties, fruit and veggies prepped for later in the week.

JACKIE CAMBRIDGE: It’s the five food groups. It’s grains, meat, fruit, vegetables, milk.

LISA STARK: Meals are paid for by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, $3.83 each, and must meet government nutrition standards, which are a bit looser in the summer.

Jackie Cambridge manages this summer meal service.

JACKIE CAMBRIDGE: There’s always a whew when we get it out the door. And then we just hope that it’s getting to kids in need, and that they’re enjoying it, and we do it all again the next day.

LISA STARK: Shortly after 9:00 a.m., the Kids Cruisin’ Kitchen truck pulls up to load its food, hot meals to go. The truck makes four stops each weekday during most of the summer break.

After that first stop in Plattsmouth, it’s off to a public library, followed by a public housing project, then onto an affordable housing development, areas where more than half of children quality for free and reduced-price lunch, although anyone is welcome.

CHILD: You got corn dogs today? Bananas.

LISA STARK: Summer lunches are an outgrowth of subsidized school lunches, which expanded in the 1960s.

NARRATOR: A good lunch provides from a third to one-half of the student’s daily needs.

LISA STARK: As part of President Lyndon Johnson’s war on poverty.

LYNDON JOHNSON, Former President of the United States: Children just must not go hungry.

LISA STARK: The programs have grown enormously. Today, 85 percent of all breakfasts served at schools and 73 percent of school lunches are subsidized by the USDA; 12 million students depend on breakfast, 22 million on lunch. Nationwide, nearly 20 percent of children under age 18 live in poverty. That’s 14.5 million children.

LAURA HATCH, Director of National Partnerships, No Kid Hungry: Sometimes, schools are providing the only meals that kids get during the week.

LISA STARK: Laura Hatch is With No Kid Hungry, a national advocacy group trying to reduce childhood hunger. She says school meals make a big difference.

LAURA HATCH: We know that kids that eat breakfast do better on math tests. We know that serving breakfast as part of the school day can actually keep kids in their seat and lessen absenteeism.

LISA STARK: Serving school meals is easier. Students are all in one place. Summer meals are tougher. The food has to get to where the children are.

To make it work, the food bank hires 10 temporary staffers, and relies on 200 volunteers from Mutual of Omaha.

This is Gary Hering’s third year helping out. He understands hunger.

GARY HERING, Volunteer, Mutual Omaha: There were times when, as a family, I know we struggled, and we’d go visit relatives just to eat, you know, have food every day.

LISA STARK: Do you think that’s true for some of these kids? Or what do you think?

GARY HERING: You bet. That’s the best part about it today, that these kids aren’t going to be hungry at lunch.

LISA STARK: Despite all this effort by the food bank and others, Nebraska ranks near the bottom of all 50 states when it comes to summer meals. For every 100 children who depend on the school lunch program, only eight are getting help during the summer.

That’s according to the Food Research and Action Center, which found that, last year, nationwide, that gap between filling the need during the school year and the summer got wider.

It’s especially difficult to reach children in rural areas. They are spread out, and USDA rules require all summer meals to be served and eaten in one place at one time.

WOMAN: You guys going to eat it over here today, OK?

LISA STARK: Regulars, like Michelle Brown and her sisters, are well aware of the rules.

CHILD: You just have to, like, eat here, and you have to come on time.

LISA STARK: USDA has a pilot program in seven states and two tribal areas to help families in need during the summer by temporarily increasing food stamps benefits.

Advocates would like this program offered more widely.

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, who recently visited a summer meal site in Washington, D.C., says he’s open to the idea.

SONNY PERDUE, U.S. Agriculture Secretary: I don’t think any of us want to fast over the summer, so just because school stops doesn’t mean that the needs for good, nutritious, healthy food and a good environment doesn’t stop.

LISA STARK: The food bank’s Susan Ogborn is eager to see regulations relaxed to make it easier to expand summer meals.

SUSAN OGBORN, President, Food Bank for the Heartland: The problem is, children are hungry every day. And so we hope that Secretary Perdue and the rest of his team at USDA get their rules and regulations figured out pretty quickly.

LISA STARK: For now, the food bank will continue to roll along with its current program, hoping one day to reach many more children, but committed to the mostly satisfied customers it already has.

What do you think about the food truck?

ALUAL AKUEI, Third Grader: I like it, but I would love it if they added donuts.

LISA STARK: Maybe next summer.

For the PBS NewsHour and Education Week, I’m Lisa Stark in Omaha, Nebraska.

JUDY WOODRUFF: We love donuts, too.

Editor’s Note: We mistakenly referred to the Food Research and Action Center as the Food Research and Action Network. A correction has been made in the transcript.

Press Release: United Way of Forsyth County, Collects Canned Food for A Day of Action Food Drive with Second Harvest Food Bank on June 21

WINSTON-SALEM, NC – United Way of Forsyth County (UWFC) is rallying volunteers throughout the community to participate in a canned food drive to support Second Harvest Food Bank.

UWFC is conducting a canned food drive through June 20 for the Winston Tower building tenants and UWFC staff.   Boxes will be in the lobby and ground floor of the building. Everyone in Forsyth County is encouraged to participate by donating canned food between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.  UWFC’s Marketing and Engagement team will distribute these items to the Food Bank and volunteer time on June 21 , which is United Way’s Worldwide Day of Action.

Worldwide, United Way Day of Action is a snapshot of what the organization does all year long – galvanizing people around solutions to build stronger communities. Volunteers of all ages will come together to create positive change for themselves, their families and their communities.

This year, United Way Worldwide is focusing on summer learning and nutrition. Summer is a critical time for children’s academic and physical well-being. However, in too many communities, kids are falling behind in school and going hungry during the summer months.

“We are pleased to provide this opportunity to empower volunteers to build a stronger community with our Day of Action to benefit children in Forsyth County,” said Cindy Gordineer UWFC president and CEO. “Children lose more than academic knowledge over the summer. For some children, summer often means the loss of regular breakfasts and lunches.”

According to a 2012 report from the Food Research and Action Center, six out of seven children who eat a free or reduced-price school lunch during the academic year do not get a free meal during the summer.

More than 418 United Ways in 21 countries mobilized volunteers in their communities on Day of Action in 2016.

Press Release: Free Easter Egg Hunt and Meal Distribution to Serve Hundreds on April 15

WINSTON SALEM, NC – More that 300 families will receive boxed meals for Easter when the United Way of Forsyth County (UWFC) supported New Communion Mobile Market and Pantry (New Communion) has a food distribution and Easter egg hunt, 3 p.m. on April 15 at Grace Presbyterian Church, located 3901 Carver School Road, in Winston-Salem.

The food distribution will feature “family feast” sized box meals with enough food to feed 10 to 12 people. The Easter egg hunt will feature give away prizes and be open to more than 100 children ages 2-13.  The events are free and open to the public with a focus on residents of the 13 identified UWFC Place Matters neighborhoods. Those neighborhoods include Northwoods Estate, Monticello Park, Ebony Hills, Prospect Park, Wildwood Park, Cardinal Acres, Castle Heights, Spaulding Drive, Eastgate Village, Lakeside, Dreamland, Bowen Park and Ladeara Crest.

“We are excited to have fantastic meals for entire families to take and enjoy from their own homes,” said Monica L. Banks, New Communion co-executive director. “And for the Easter egg hunt, we will have great prizes.”

The box meals will feature ham or chicken, baked beans, glory greens, green beans, heat and serve rolls and pie or cobbler. The Easter egg hunt will have 400 Easter eggs, candy and vouchers for prizes ranging from bicycles and scooters to dolls and more.

New Communion, a UWFC partner agency, is a faith-based organization with the goal of enhancing community relationships and diminishing the impacts of hunger and food insecurity. As a part of UWFC’s Place Matters program, New Communion, provides access to fresh food, promotes eating healthy food and access to pantry items in Forsyth County.

Place Matters is a resident-led initiative focused on empowering local residents to direct funding and activities on what they feel is best for improving their communities. UWFC launched Place Matters, in part, to strengthen neighborhoods and reduce poverty in targeted communities in Forsyth County.  Today more than 65,000 residents, and 1 out of every 3 children, in Forsyth County are living in poverty.

Recognizing that these communities face many interconnected challenges, Place Matters is bringing together local organizations to address the issues. UWFC is partnering with Neighbors for Better Neighborhoods, a grassroots community-organizing firm, to engage residents themselves in developing their vision for the community. A resident committee is reviewing programs and approving applications for Place Matters funding.