FISHES & LOAVES receives $50,000 donation

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Rev. Thomas Tully of St. Peter the Fisherman Catholic Church presents a check to PCFLO for $50,000 as a donation for the group’s building fund. From left: Paula Valinoti, Parish Council Chairperson; Ray Ruppert, PCFLO Chairperson; Rev. Thomas Tully; Bill Miles, PCFLO Past Chairperson and Project Manager; and, Eileen Miles, PCFLO, Asst. Project Manager

Rev. Thomas Tully of St. Peter the Fisherman Catholic Church presents a check to PCFLO for $50,000 as a donation for the group’s building fund. From left: Paula Valinoti, Parish Council Chairperson; Ray Ruppert, PCFLO Chairperson; Rev. Thomas Tully; Bill Miles, PCFLO Past Chairperson and Project Manager; and, Eileen Miles, PCFLO, Asst. Project Manager

By Bill Miles

ORIENTAL –  Pamlico County Fishes and Loaves Outreach, affectionately know by the acronynm PCFLO, has served as an important food pantry for the past 14 years. Needy clients are increasing and, as a result, the nonprofit’s food storage needs are also increasing.  PCFLO will soon move its distribution center from the current location at St. Peter the Fisherman Catholic Church to a newly purchased facility at 108 Straight Road in Oriental. 

The church’s generous donation is an incredible step forward, but more funding is being sought. 

PCFLO began its mission in 2007, distributing food to seven families. Today, the nonprofit has grown to reach more than 650 households and 2500 individuals in Pamlico County. Referrals come from the Department of Social Services, local churches and organizations.  Partnering with local churches, community organizations, the Rotary of Oriental, and the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina in New Bern, PCFLO volunteers pickup food, sort it, package it and distribute the food each week. 

Each client served by PCFLO receives a minimum of 3 bags of food per month, which equates to more than 2300 bags that volunteers pack per month. The group receives left-over fruits, vegetables, breads and meats from local grocery stores along with donated food from the community.  A government agency known as TEBAP also furnishes food once per month. All of this planning, preparation, and coordination requires space, time, funding, and dedicated volunteers.   

On the first Wednesday of each month, a food truck delivers bulk food from the Food Bank in New Bern to St. Peter the Fishermen Catholic Church parking lot. This food is available to anyone needing assistance, no questions asked. Cars begin lining up at about 9 am and when the food has been sorted, it is then loaded into the clients’ vehicles. The only restriction is that those who receive food must reside in Pamlico County.

PCFLO works entirely from donations offered by the generous, kind, and compassionate members of our community.  In order to successfully purchase and maintain the new facility, the group requests donations to help defray the cost of this ambitious project. We are a totally volunteer organization and operate on donations only.  Your continued monthly support is crucial to fund this much needed service for our community.  Please make your checks payable to PCFLO, and mail to PCFLO,  Post Office Box 771, Oriental, NC 28571. All contributions will be promptly acknowledged. We hope you will also volunteer to assist. Please come by and visit anytime at our new facility.