Community Food Hub cuts ribbon in Bethel

BETHEL, N.C. (WNCT) – Residents from across the east gathered for ribbon cutting the of a new food hub.

The food hub will now make nutrition more affordable for all families.

Today was a day many thought they would never see.

Maxine White has been working toward this day for nearly two-and-a-half years.

White said, “It’s been arduous but it’s been very rewarding. For everyone that told us no, God opened the door and told a hundred people yes.”

White said she faced opposition from nearly everyone she asked.

“When the county refused to help us, when the town officials refused to help us, everything that we asked them for and they said no, god gave it to us tenfold,” said White.

White has been working to make nutrition filled food more easily available.

“Medication is not the answer to health; food is the answer to health,” said White. “The way to get it is to buy locally.”

Their service would be for all ages.

White said, “So what we’ll do is teach them how to cook, we’ll teach them about the nutritional value for what they’ll be consuming when they purchase it for us and we will even deliver it.”

The Community Food Hub is the first of its kind in the nation.

White said, “We will be aggregating fruits, meats and vegetables. There are other food hubs but they do one or the other. Our desire is to bring as many healthy foods to the table in an affordable manor that we can.”

Robin Bailey works for the USDA

Bailey said, “I mean it’s going to help the local farmers which we really need. There’s also going to be a way to provide local job opportunities in this area. They’re talking about employing up to 80 people.”

Bailey said when White called for help he couldn’t say no.

“I’ve met a lot of people but she is very much about business,” said Bailey. “When she sets her sights on something she goes after it really hard.”

White said it’s simple. This project was her mission.

“This is his ministry for me. This is how he wants me to help his people. So as long as I remember that it doesn’t matter whatever else happens,” said White.

White said at the end of it all this is about bringing business to local farmers while supplying communities with affordable nutritional food.

According to the USDA, the facility is estimated to provide food for 50,000 families a week.

The project was built with part of a $1.5 million grant.

 

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