A Light in the Dark For Families Needing Food: Beacon of Hope in Marshall, NC

Food & Hope in Madison County

On a hot July afternoon, residents of Madison County drove to Beacon of Hope – a church sitting atop a hill in Marshall, NC – to pick up food that they could bring home to their households.

“Everyone at Beacon of Hope is so welcoming!” exclaimed Amy, a longtime resident of Marshall. “People here understand that everyone goes through hard times.”

Amy, a retired teacher, depends on social security, as well as, part time substitute teaching for her income. Due to COVID-19, however, money has been tighter. “Because of COVID, half of my income disappeared since I can no longer sub.”

As many of us know, the pandemic has forced many people to fall on hard times. Money is tighter, jobs are tougher to come by and as a result, food is more valued than ever by many. Thankfully, for residents like Amy, there are agencies like Beacon of Hope that are working tirelessly to make sure their neighbors have food to put on the table.

As Amy pointed out, “It is a relief to know that when money is a little tighter and I am waiting for my social security check, I can come to Beacon and bring home veggies, eggs and chicken – my favorite foods to cook with!”

That sentiment was not unique to Amy. One mother picking up food boxes was excited to see that amidst her boxes of nutritious foods, there were some sweet treats that she could bring home and surprise her young children with.

One of Beacon’s regular volunteers noted that there has been a considerable increase over the past few months of clients eager to pick up food. He added that this increase is undoubtedly a response to the pandemic. “A lot of people are out of work and don’t have the same income they were used to at the beginning of the year.”

No matter the reason clients were at Beacon of Hope, it is was clear that everyone was happy to be bringing home some food, whether it was nutrient-dense and protein-rich foods or sweet treats that would serve as a surprise for the young ones waiting back home.