ECU Hurricane Florence Food Drive Off to Fast Start

East Carolina University’s efforts to help those affected by Hurricane Florence are off to a quick start thanks to early success from its community-wide food drive.

During its first week, the food drive – led by East Carolina Undaunted and the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina – brought in more than 6,200 pounds of water, food and household supplies. In all, 10 pallets were filled with supplies, servicing 10 counties in eastern North Carolina with the capacity to serve nearly 5,300 meals.

East Carolina University faculty, staff and student volunteers sort food at ECU’s Hurricane Florence Food Drive held in partnership with the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina.

The food drive, held at the Willis Building across from Greenville’s Town Common at 300 E. First Street, continues through Sept. 29. The food drive is open from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. Those wishing to donate are asked to bring canned fruits and vegetables, canned meat and fish, canned beans and soup, hygiene products, household cleaning supplies, and other non-perishable items.

George Young, eastern regional director for the food bank, said so far the community’s response has been “awesome.”

“I think the people of Greenville are appreciative of what they’ve been through in the past,” Young said. “They missed the bullseye of the storm this time, but they realize families and friends in other areas are in need and how important this outreach is.

“These in-kind donations are vital to helping those impacted by the storm,” he said. “Those affected by Hurricane Florence may not be able to get to a grocery store, or their grocery store is without food or power. We’re able to take these items, put them into family packs and put them to good use.”

ECU has been able to provide critical assistance through its Hurricane Florence recovery support team – East Carolina Undaunted – and its hurricane recovery website. As of Monday, ECU has received 38 nonemergency assistance requests, including 29 individual and eight community requests. Additionally, the university’s Small Business Technology and Development Center joined forces with the U.S. Small Business Administration to open a business recovery center – the only such center currently operating in the region.

In total, 537 students, faculty, staff and community members have registered to volunteer through the site, totaling 817 volunteer hours. Additionally, the university has raised more than $4,000 toward hurricane recovery efforts.

“The way ECU has approached this food drive, including having a central contact person and location, has been invaluable,” Young said. “ECU volunteers have brought in the food, sorted the items and helped get them packed and on the way out to those in need. We’ve really appreciated them taking our most-needed list and sharing it with the community.”

The Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina serves 34 counties, including 10 from its Greenville branch. The 35-year-old program partners with 800 food agencies across the state, providing food to families suffering from food insecurity and natural disasters like Hurricane Florence.

“The successful first week of our food drive is just the start on the road to recovery for those in eastern North Carolina after Hurricane Florence,” said Jay Golden, vice chancellor for research, economic development and engagement at ECU. “The community support we’ve received so far has been monumental. I urge ECU students, faculty, staff and community members to visit our Florence Recovery website to sign up for volunteer opportunities and continue the university’s tradition of serving others.”

Visit to volunteer and get connected with ECU’s hurricane recovery efforts. Learn more about the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina at