Home » Spring 2023 Newsletter

SNAP Benefits Expire; Food Pantry Hours Expand


COVID-related Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits expired on February 28, which means our clients will need to pay an extra $95 to $295 each month for food–while grocery prices are 10% higher than a year ago.

Yet even before those benefits expired, the Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry at the Ada Jenkins Center experienced increased demand: 199 people visited the pantry in January, compared with 139 in December. So the pantry has added an extra day of service; it’s now open every Wednesday and Thursday from 12:30-2:30pm, as well as the second Saturday of each month. To access the Food Pantry, families must call Loaves and Fishes in advance for a referral: 704-523-4333.

“Our clients are still struggling with the high prices of everyday items, and we worry about what their next few months will look like, now that they’re not receiving the extra SNAP benefits,” explains Harold Rice, Chief Executive Officer of the Ada Jenkins Center. “We’ve seen an increase in demand across all of Ada Jenkins Center’s services, so we knew without doubt that we would have to expand our Food Pantry hours.”

Due to the demand, the pantry needs donations of hygiene items: full-size shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste, and baby wipes. Volunteers are available from 9:30-11:30am, Tuesdays through Thursdays, to accept donations.

The good news:

thanks to the community’s generosity, additional food donations are not needed at this time. We will post updates via social media throughout the spring.

Celebrating Big Wins

We could not be more excited for our LEARN Works after school students! Results from January’s mid-year assessments showed that 94% of our elementary and middle schools students improved their foundational reading and/or language skills, often increasing in grade level. 96% of our students also improved in math.

Special shout-out to Jaxon, in our 2nd/3rd grade classroom, who made the fall A-B Honor Roll at Huntersville Elementary School!

An Apple a Day


We’re cooking up a new healthy lifestyle initiative at the Ada Jenkins Center, for anyone aged 55+ with a medical condition such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or high cholesterol. The free “Apple a Day” program will provide healthy and easy cooking (and tasting!) classes over a ten-week session. Classes will focus on how to make better choices in each participant’s lifestyle, and identify barriers and/or misconceptions to preparing healthier foods. Each participant will receive a journal to help them think and track habits that can be changed to encourage good choices, and will take home a “meal kit” with ingredients to prepare what was made in class.

The Apple a Day program will start in the coming months. We’ll share updates and registration details via email and on social media in the coming weeks.

Service Updates

Between July 1, 2022 and January 31, 2023:

  • We have responded to 1,274 e-mails, calls, or texts seeking information about financial assistance or other family needs
  • 1,195 people have obtained groceries through our Loaves and Fishes food pantry
  • 129 families have received emergency financial assistance for rent/mortgage, utilities, and/or childcare.
  • 199 people have participated in our Economic Mobility program, receiving tenancy education, connections with area housing, budget assistance, employment and training opportunities, and more
  • 28 people experiencing homelessness have been connected with emergency supplies and services
  • 56 students have been enrolled in our LEARN Works afterschool academic program
  • 248 volunteers have contributed 1,517 hours to help tutor our students, restock and organize the food pantry, manage our Open Gym hours, beautify our campus, and so much more.

Thanks to you, we are able to live our mission every day: We exist to help people create lasting solutions for economic stability.