No-Cost Food Resources in Catawba County

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No-Cost Food Resources in Catawba County

Compiled by United Way

Purpose: This document details Free or No-Cost Food Resources available in Catawba County in response to COVID-19, including when and where to access those resources. This document will be updated as more information is available.

Soup Kitchens

The Corner Table Soup Kitchen (feeds any age)
122 N Main Street/ P.O. Box 1051, Newton, NC 28658
Director- Summer Jenkins:

Current Plan for The Corner Table in effect March 25– April 30, 2020

  • Currently serving about between 160-180 clients per day and 2 meals per person, this is a 30 to 50-person increase compared to March. Right now, here are no issues with getting food. Food distributor needs them to pick up food but food is there.
  • The office at the Soup Kitchen in downtown Newton will be open to the public for donations/questions Monday-Friday, from 8:30 a.m. until 1 p.m.
  • Backpack will not have open hours for the public at this time.
  • Lunch will be served to guests via a to-go meal from 11:15 a.m.–12:30 p.m. Monday through Friday on the back porch. Guests will not be allowed in the facility for any reason, including restrooms. Guests are encouraged to not arrive earlier than 11:15 a.m. and will not be allowed to congregate.
  • Friday to-go bags will be provided as usual. Guests will receive a hot meal as well as their weekly Friday to-go bag.
  • Scheduled Saturday bag lunches will remain on the calendar. If a group signed up does not feel comfortable serving in that capacity, then we will cancel the event.
  • The Food Service Manager will be preparing additional frozen meals due to an increase in demand. The goal is to have at least 50 on hand each day. Frozen meals will be limited to two meals per day, per guest. Churches who distribute frozen meals will still be allowed to pick up mass quantities as normal.

Current Plan for the Backpack Program (Feeds School Age Children)
Updated on 4/7

  • All bags that are packed will be distributed by this Thursday, April 9.
  • All Newton-Conover area kids are receiving bags without interruption.
  • The pallets of food received last week will be packed in the next week or so. We believe the food is enough to continue what we are doing for at least a month.
  • We are still encouraging families to utilize the meal programs at the schools.
  • We are still delivering food bags to schools/families in emergency situations as needed.
  • Schools will be providing bulk meals to cover for them not serving over Spring break. For families that call needing assistance during Spring break, we will be encouraging them to participate in the bulk meal pick-up. If additional food is needed, we will make sure backpack bags are being received as well.

Corner Table and Backpack Needs

  • Reduced need for Volunteers:
    • We have reduced our number of volunteers to eight per day at the soup
    • All volunteers are screened prior to service at the soup kitchen.
    • The Corner Table is canceling large groups signed-ups.
    • We will always continue to mandate strict hand-washing requirements and use of gloves for food distribution.
    • Employees will also be screened.
  • Needed Donations and Supplies:
    • We are requesting monetary donations to help restock the Backpack
      Warehouse. Donations can be made online. Donors should earmark their donation for the Backpack Program. Donors interested in purchasing food supplies for the Backpack Warehouse should contact Backpack Program Coordinator at 828-464-0355.
  • Backpack Donations needed:
    • Canned Chicken
    • Pasta/Sauce
    • Boxed Dinners
    • Canned Vegetables
    • Rice
    • Mac-N-Cheese

We are requesting monetary donations to assist with the purchase of paper products, food supplies, cleaning supplies, etc. at the soup kitchen.

Donations can be made online.

For those dropping off monetary donations, we are asking that you place your donation in our donation box on the inside of our building between the two glass doors. This box will be checked daily. This will limit handing off donations to a volunteer/staff. We also encourage you to mail your donations if possible, to PO Box 1051, Newton, NC 28658.

Donors interested in purchasing supplies can use the following list of our current needs:

  • Monetary Donations
  • Pastas
  • To-Go-Boxes
  • Styrofoam Plates
  • Styrofoam Bowls
  • Aluminum Foil
  • Napkins
  • Paper Towels
  • Plastic Forks
  • Plastic Spoons
  • Lysol
  • Clorox
  • 16oz Cups
  • 16oz Cup Lids
  • 4oz Cups and Lids
  • Plastic Wrap
  • Styrofoam Bowls
  • Grocery Bags
  • Toilet Paper

Hickory Soup Kitchen (feeds any age)
P.O. Box 1431 Hickory, NC 28603
Director – Austin Pierce

Current Plan for the Hickory Soup Kitchen

  • The Hickory Soup Kitchen will be offering meals Monday through Friday from 11 a.m.–1 p.m. in to-go boxes as the dining room is currently closed.
  • At this time, the food pantry consisting mostly of fresh fruits and vegetables will remain open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. as long as supplies last.
  • The Soup Kitchen has enough gloves and to-go supplies on hand to last at least a month, if not longer.
  • The Hickory Soup Kitchen is currently supplementing food resources for approximately 300 families.
  • The Soup Kitchen will continue to serve families for as long as they are able with the food that they have available. They believe they can continue to serve for some time and did not specify the food supply running short other than fresh fruits and vegetables.

Need for Donations and Volunteers

  • Donations of fresh fruits and vegetables for the food pantry have been reduced by 80% so donations are needed to continue this service.
  • Volunteers are needed during this time to help in a variety of ways.
  • The Hickory Soup Kitchen is working to with volunteers, monitoring their health as well as working to minimize contact with those being served to reduce the risk of spreading germs.

Catawba County, Newton-Conover and Hickory School Systems
Hickory Public Schools (School Age Children)
Child Nutrition Director – Kristen Bealler

Hickory Public Schools will be providing a drive-thru program at Longview Elementary and Viewmont Elementary to all pre-K-12 HPS students on April 7, 5 breakfasts and 5 lunches will be provided for any HPS student who is in need of food assistance from 11 a.m.–1 p.m. at Longview Elementary and Viewmont Elementary on Tuesdays only (still operating on April 6).

These meals are designed for ALL HPS students (pre K-12) with food insecurities. HPS is providing a drive-thru pick up on Tuesdays only.

A team will be available to deliver the meals directly to your car. You will not need to come into the school.

Bus Routes will run for delivery from 10 a.m.–2 p.m. on Tuesdays only. The following bus routes are running: 46, 87, 88, 89, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 125, 132, 363, 378, 383, 384, 385, 413, 414, 419, 2811, 2817, and Terrace Hills.

Backpack Program (Elementary and Middle School Students)

Food supplies will be available for all HPS elementary and middle school students who participate in the Backpack program. The one time pick up (to cover for two weeks) is scheduled during the drive-thru at Longview elementary and Viewmont elementary on Thursday, March 19 from 11 a.m.–1 p.m. (more information under The Corner Table).

PORCH – HPS families with food insecurities. Provide child’s name and school. Pick up food supplies on Tuesday, March 17 at the PORCH facility in Longview. Each bag is valued at approx. $50 worth of groceries pick up time for HPS families is from 5–6:30 p.m. Address: 2505 1st Ave SW Hickory, NC 28602. Questions about PORCH, email

Long-term Plan and Limitations

Hickory Public Schools hopes to be able to sustain their currently plan until May 15, 2020. As long as staff remain healthy and willing to work, the plan should work through this period of time. Staffing may only be an issue during spring break: April 13-17, 2020. We are working on plans for that at this time. HPS has very limited resources such as hand sanitizer needed for food safety and good personal hygiene practices. HPS also has many staff members requesting masks that are difficult to find. Paper products needed for packaging foods to be sent home have been limited as well since all school districts and restaurants across the country are trying to buy them at the same time. We expect our food inventory to carry us through this time frame. Lastly, funding is going to be a big issue for our program. We have limited revenues coming in with large expenses for staff salaries, equipment, and food going out. We only receive reimbursement for the meals served after they have been served and claimed (once a month).

Catawba County Schools (School Age Children)
Child Nutrition Director – Valda Robinson

  • Beginning March 26, from 9 a.m.–11 a.m.* (*timeframe may be extended), students can receive one FREE breakfast and/or lunch per child 18 yrs and under.
  • Students do not need to qualify for free or reduced meals to receive a meal. No forms required. Students do not have to present to pick up meals.
  • Pick up available at these locations regardless of your child’s school:
    • Fred T. Forard Feeder Area
    • Blackburn Elementary – 4377 West NC Hwy 10, Newton NC – 9– 11 a.m. (drive-through at the school)
    • Valley View Baptist Church – 1671 Mennonite Church Rd, Hickory NC 28602- 10:30–11 a.m. (yellow school bus location)
    • Lucky Lane Mobile Home Park – 1852 Lucky Lane, Hickory, NC 28602- 11:15–11:45 a.m. (yellow school bus location)
    • The Legends Apartments – 2000 Catawba Valley BLVD SE, Hickory, NC 28602 – Noon–12:30 p.m. (yellow school bus location)

Backpack: If a student is already receiving food through the Backpack program, the school will contact parents/caregivers with arrangements to pick up your backpack. (More details under The Corner Table section of this document)

Long-term Plan and Limitations:

Catawba County Schools is prepared to add additional feeding sites as needed. The school system will continue the current plan until the USDA deems otherwise. A limitation for Catawba County Schools is the capability of distributing hot meals. We do not have the equipment to distribute hot meals that will reach the student at the appropriate temperature to be safe to consume. Long-term Catawba County Schools would serve cold meals. However, students may tire of this arrangement. Additionally, keeping employees working a regular schedule may become a concern. Because the district is not serving as many meals as served on a regular school day, staff members do not have to work a regular schedule.

Newton Conover City Schools (School Age Children)
Child Nutrition Director- Nancy Lamothe 828-464-3191

Beginning March 19, each elementary school (North Newton, Shuford, and South Newton) will be a distribution site for meals. If your child attends the middle or high schools, they will be provided meals through the elementary school area in which they live. You may choose to have the meals delivered or you may drive to the elementary school site and pick up meals. Students will be provided a breakfast and dinner meal at the same time.

Meals will be available for pick up from 2:30–3:45 p.m. daily, Monday through

Meals will be delivered between 2–4 p.m. daily, Monday through Friday for those who chose that option.

If you would like meals, please call the child nutrition department at 828-464-3191.

Long-term Plan and Limitations:

The Newton-Conover Schools district is planning to serve meals to students for as long as they are able following USDA guidance. The school system has USDA foods on hand and are able to continue to purchase food at this point. USDA is working to make sure they can also get more food. The school system is running low on 3 compartment trays but looking for other to-go options, as this resource is scarce. If the school system needs to move from the current feeding locations, they have three other schools in the district where they can serve students.

Senior Nutrition Services

  • The modified services below were effective on Monday, March 16 and will remain in effect until further notice.

Seniors Morning Out (Seniors age 60+)

  • Seniors Morning Out participants (165+ clients) will receive meals on Mondays and check-in phone calls Monday – Thursday each week.

Meals on Wheels (Homebound Seniors age 60+)

  • Meals on Wheels clients (240+ clients) will receive meal boxes on Mondays with 5 frozen and complete meals for the week.
  • These same clients will receive check-in calls on Tuesday–Thursday each week.
  • Frozen Meal Program (Homebound Seniors age 60+ who cannot be placed on a Meals on Wheels route).
  • Clients are instructed to pick up pre-packed boxes of frozen meals on Mondays only.
  • Clients must call ahead and staff will place boxes in their trucks upon arrival.

Adult Life Programs (ALP)

  • ALP is preparing and delivering approximately 180-200 meals each weekday for their client population of adults. This is an increase in prepared meals, starting 4/17/20.
  • ALP is now able to provide two meals and a snack each weekday as well as a shelf-stable meal boxes on Fridays for the weekend. This expanded meal service is possible because of grant funding from Catawba County United Way.
  • ALP is in search of funding to continue feed caregivers.
  • This only includes adults who are already ALP clients or caregivers of ALP clients.

Online Resource to Meet Essential Needs

Corona Community went live April 1, 2020.

This is an adapted use of Crisis Cleanup, which has been integral after hurricanes Matthew, Michael, Florence, and Dorian in matching survivors who needed help with non-profit agencies and coordinating efforts.

The purpose of Corona Community is to match people in need of assistance, such as people who are elderly, immunocompromised, or at high risk of COVID-19 can request grocery pickup, food delivery, wellness checkups, prescription pickups, etc.

Other Meal Resources


Mt. Sinai Baptist Church (100 6th Ave SW, Catawba)

Free children to-go lunch plates

See the Church Facebook page for more information.

Pastor – Dr. Donald Gray


McDonald’s – All locations (drive-thru only)

  • Between 11 a.m.–2 p.m.
  • Meal options: Plain cheeseburger, plain hamburger, or 4-piece chicken nuggets with choice of one side (French fries, yogurt, apple slices)
  • Student must be present

Granny’s Country Kitchen (Hickory and Claremont locations)

  • Free kid’s meal during school closure
  • Meal options: ham or turkey and cheese on white bread, chips, and a small drink
  • Child (K-12) must be present

The local meat and produce supply is strong. This mobile-friendly local food guide will help you find what you need.


Salvation Army of Greater Hickory

Contacts: Sindy Connell:
Matthew Trayler:
750 3rd Ave PL. SE, Hickory, NC 29602
(828) 322-8061

Currently, the Salvation Army’s Shelter of Hope is feeding 100 clients presently in the shelter. They are starting week three of not accepting new clients. In addition, they are feeding anyone who comes to the facility who is in need of a meal via to-go boxes and are currently serving about 20 meals a day in this way. They feed breakfast and supper at the moment. However, they are not ruling out preparing lunch, if further circumstances deem necessary.

Salvation Army could use some help with our paper goods supply (toilet paper, paper towels, napkins, plastic ware, etc.) and janitorial supplies (laundry detergent, cleaning supplies, etc.), if you happen to get any of those things in.

To offset a recent income shortfall due to COVID-19, The Salvation Army of Greater Hickory announced an emergency fund drive with a goal to raise $100,000 over the next 60 days. Individuals, businesses and corporations who would like to help, can mail a check to The Salvation Army of Greater Hickory, P O Box 1167, Hickory, NC 28603.


NC Baptist Men
Jimmy Lawrence;
Phone: 336-613-6711

Mr. Lawrence is working to put together a management system across the state by County. He will email Karyn when he knows exactly how this will be organized. It sounds like there will be a point person who can help meet needs. Catawba County would need a point person on our end as well who can communicate with his point person. His organization can drop off 5 days’ worth of shelf-stable meals on porches of those in need of food who cannot leave the house for whatever reason. As citizens need additional help, they would need to call again and place additional requests. This will be a need in our community due to lack of transportation being a major barrier for some in need of food.


Sherrills Ford Community Food Pantry and Clothes Closet
Phone: 828-478-9652

Beginning April 6, the pantry will be open Mondays from 5-6:30 p.m. and Thursdays from 10 a.m.-noon. Curbside service for food only. The clothing closet is temporarily closed.


Neighbors Network-Your Neighbors Pantry

Offers a food pantry and other services for seniors. Call before stopping by to check on available services.

Phone 828-464-1111

Website: Neighbors Network – Email:

Highways to Hedges Ministry

  • Offers dinner with message and free groceries or personal and household items.
  • Offers a clothes closet and indoor yard sale.
  • Delivers groceries, personal and household items to people without transportation.
  • Helps with utilities, rent and other bills.
  • Delivers free furniture and appliances.

Call before stopping by to check on available services. Phone: 828-781-8095

Eastern Catawba Cooperative Christian Ministry (must meet eligibility requirements/taking application via phone)
245 E. N. St, Newton, NC
(828) 465-1702

Greater Hickory Cooperative Christian Ministry (GHCCM) (must meet eligibility requirements/taking application via phone)
31 1st Ave SE, Hickory, NC 28602
(828) 327-0979

Nutrition Center-Open Monday–Thursday, 8 a.m.– 4:30 p.m.

Pickup at the loading dock.


Food for Children

  • Text FOODNC to 877-877
  • Enter address and receive feeding locations for children

Sheetz Bag Meals for Children

  • Sheetz food program offers one bag meal per child.
  • The program expanded companywide on 4/16/20 and will operate while supplies last.

Go to the website for more information.