By Bernadette Smith

Volunteers hard at work in the HNGO Food Pantry

The Hickory Nut Gorge Outreach (HNGO) is a non-profit organization serving families in the Hickory Nut Gorge and extending into neighboring communities. HNGO focuses on helping to eliminate hunger and provides emergency services to those in need. Services include but are not limited to enabling clients to shop in the Food Pantry and providing children with weekend meals through the Foods for Kids Program. November and December are the busiest months of the year as HNGO distributes Thanksgiving meals, gift cards for clients to purchase Christmas meals, and holiday gifts to children ages 0 – 16 through the Angel Tree Program.

One of HNGO’s clients is a single mom of several children. Although she works full time, she is not able to make ends meet without assistance. The family is able to take advantage of all outreach services, including the Food Pantry, Food For Kids Program, the Holiday Meals and Angel Tree Programs. Additionally HNGO supports the family by providing school supplies and uniforms. According to the mom, the family would not get by without HNGO’s support.

The Outreach is funded solely through donations from generous members of our community, fundraisers, and local food drives. Food and other products are purchased at a minimal cost from the MANNA Food Bank (a Feeding America partner), as well as at local stores. The Outreach does not receive any federal funds and all programs and activities are fully supported by 50+ volunteers.

Donations can be sent to P.O. Box 634, Lake Lure, NC 28746. If you would like to learn more about HNGO or volunteer time, please contact the HNGO office at 828-625-4683.