During the COVID-19 pandemic, more people than ever have faced food insecurity. Feeding America projects that 17% of our neighbors in North Carolina have experienced or will experience food insecurity because of the pandemic. That includes one in five children.
For Dajai, these numbers are unacceptable. When COVID hit, she worked day and night in the Spinning Plate kitchen to assist with emergency meal prep. The food truck, an initiative of the Interfaith Food Shuttle, partnered with food pantries, churches, schools and local organizations to deliver meals in the hardest-hit parts of the state.
With financial support from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC), Dajai and the rest of the culinary staff were able to serve thousands of people facing hunger because of COVID-19. The food truck was also retrofitted to withstand crisis situations and assist in disaster relief.
Kim Evans, a Blue Cross NC employee who works in community health, said the Spinning Plate’s efforts will improve the overall health and well-being of North Carolinians well beyond COVID-19.
“The more food secure people are, the healthier they are,” she said. “When people are food insecure, it contributes to many conditions like depression, anxiety and stress. Not only that, but it exacerbates chronic conditions like obesity, hypertension and diabetes. When we’re able to give people healthy food, that helps, because they have the fruits and vegetables they need for nutrition.”