When Loaves and Fishes food pantry suddenly closed at the end of last month, it left the county reeling. It was the largest food pantry at the time and according to the United Way, had served more than 7000 patrons a month.
Within a week of it's closing, the local community organizations met and laid out plans to make sure the county didn't suffer.
Allied Churches quickly answered the call.
"We were shocked just like everybody else in this community" said Allied Churches Director Kim Crawford. "Shocked and saddened by the sudden loss of the food pantry that closed."
But they didn't let their shock stop them.
"Knowing that literally hundreds of people counted on them for food, Allied Churches, whose mission has always been to house the homeless and feed the hungry, knew we had to step up and help out." she said. "In a week, we have built a food pantry. We actually distribute food Monday through Friday from 3:30-6:00 every day to help fill that void."
As Alamance County's only shelter, Allied Churches regularly houses up to 93 residents per night. They have always had a free lunch available to the public, and now they are likely going to see the number of meals given out double, with an additional meal every day.
The United Way County Assessment estimates that the average cost for a meal at a shelter is about $2.45. If that number is accurate, then the roughly 150 lunches were already costing Allied Churches about $360 dollars a day. That number could double if the dinners are popular.
But Crawford says that Allied Churches is prepared to take on the burden.
"We're proud and humbled that we are this place." she said. "We can meet the need. We have always met the need since 1982 and we will continue to meet the need"