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With money raised to help 50 families at Thanksgiving, a partnership between First United Methodist Church and the Roanoke Rapids Graded School District is now looking to do the same thing at Christmas.

District spokesman Les Atkins said the organizers also want to raise enough money to provide additional personal items and age-appropriate books for each child in the households chosen.

Initial efforts last year supported 20 families and the goal this year is to increase that to 50 families.

First United Methodist Church has issued a challenge to the community that it will match donations up to $17,500 to fund the program for this school year.  

Nina Pinnicchia, director of school nutrition for the district, and liaisons in each school identify the needs of the families, and the donations fund meals, food staples, and other support for the families.  

Holiday meals will be delivered to 50 families for both the Thanksgiving and Christmas weekends.  

Volunteers from the church and community plan to prepare a special holiday bag for each family that will accompany the Christmas meal.  

“This is a great partnership,” Interim Superintendent Julie Thompson said.  “Through our staff, we are able to identify critical needs in our school families, and the money raised by the church and community fund our ability to help meet those needs.”  

Pastor Tracy Sexton said, “We are grateful that, through the generosity of people in our church and community, we are able to join the schools in providing support for these families.” 

In addition to holiday meals, the program hopes to provide food for families for long weekends when school meals are not available. 

When the pandemic conditions improve significantly, the Feed a Family program hopes to provide classes for families to support them in providing nutritional meals for their families.  

The church is offering holiday gift cards that donors may send to acknowledge contributions to this program in honor or memory of loved ones.   

Donors may send checks to First United Methodist Church with Feed a Family in the memo, 339 Roanoke Avenue, Roanoke Rapids, NC  27870 or call 252-537-2173 ext 1 if they have questions.