Shelters can’t accept food donations

Organizations operating shelters for Hurricane Matthew survivors are not able to accept food donations from individuals or organizations such as churches and civic groups. These organizations must be careful to ensure that all food and beverages distributed in shelters are within state health department guidelines, and are not able to use food or beverage donations, whether packaged or prepared.

“While we certainly appreciate that people are eager to help and want to assist us with feeding the thousands of survivors currently in our care, the agencies operating shelters cannot accept donations of food or beverages from individuals or outside organizations,” said Larry Marks of North Carolina Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster. “The very best way for people to help is to make monetary donations to established disaster organizations so that they can use the money to purchase the supplies they need.”

For those who wish to donate non-perishable food items to assist survivors, the best avenue is to donate to a local food bank. Contact your local food bank or look online for a list of needed items. Food banks will distribute donated food items to areas in need.

Gov. Pat McCrory has activated the North Carolina Disaster Relief Fund, which offers an option for donating money to help survivors of Hurricane Matthew. To donate, visit or text NCRECOVERS to 30306.

In addition to the North Carolina Disaster Relief Fund, donors can support members of NCVOAD that are helping people affected by Hurricane Matthew. Visit for a list of member organizations actively assisting survivors.

Dial 2-1-1 to speak with a trained call specialist about questions you have regarding Hurricane Matthew; the service is free, confidential and available in any language. They can help direct you to resources. Call 5-1-1 for the latest road conditions or check the ReadyNC mobile app, which also has real-time shelter and evacuation information. For updates on Hurricane Matthew impacts and relief efforts, go to or follow N.C. Emergency Management on Twitter and Facebook.

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