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First United Methodist Church’s Feed a Family project brought food and joy to 127 families in the Roanoke Rapids Graded School District last year, and the church hopes to double that impact this school year.  

The area church recently announced a challenge grant to the community — effective immediately — to match up to $17,500 in donations made by December 31.

“This church is passionate about sharing what we have with others,” said Pastor Tracy Sexton.   “We are excited about partnering with the Roanoke Rapids Graded School District Child Nutrition Office.”

Sexton said, “The community outreach liaisons are in the position to see the needs of families, and we want to be part of helping them provide nourishment — body and spirit — to our neighbors. 

“We appreciate the financial support of our great community and the programming of the school district during the past year and believe, as the community continues to join in, together we will make an even bigger difference this year.”

Nina Pinnicchia, the school system’s director of child nutrition, organized the purchase and delivery of complete Thanksgiving meals to 45 families that fed the entire family.  

At Christmas, boxes of several meals — breakfast, lunch, and dinner and snacks — for the two-week break were provided for 30 families.  

At Easter, complete holiday meals, baskets, and treats were delivered to 12 families.  Throughout the year, weekend meals were provided to over 50 families.  

“This is a great partnership with the schools and the community,” Pinnicchia said. “We are so grateful for the church’s efforts and the generosity of the community.”

Donations may be mailed to FUMC, 339 Roanoke Avenue, Roanoke Rapids, NC, 27870, and marked Feed a Family.  

The church and school district update each other every couple of weeks so that maximum use is made of every donation.