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In Our Own Words

Serving Meals and Books During COVID-19

By Karlene Fyffe Phillips, Family Literacy and Community Services Manager
Library team members preparing to distribute meals

With schools and many businesses closed during the coronavirus pandemic, Durham’s children and families faced the issue of food insecurity. Thankfully, DPS Foundation initiated Durham FEAST, which provides complete meals, fresh produce, and shelf-stable ingredients to children and adults experiencing food insecurity during COVID-19. The FEAST program required numerous partners and volunteers to make the program run smoothly. Durham County Library’s Family Literacy and Community Services (FLaCS) staff were happy and honored to play a part. I learned about the FEAST program through my work with Durham County’s Food Security Taskforce, and I immediately contacted library leadership about the possibility of using outreach vehicles to assist with the meal delivery. FLaCS staff and I were excited about being able to continue serving the community by delivering the FEAST meals and books provided by Book Harvest.

“My experience delivering food has allowed me to be of service to a community in great need at this unprecedented time. The experience has been very rewarding and gratifying and has definitely altered my perspective on life.”

Arlicia Page, Library Assistant,
Family Literacy and Community Services

“The program has been well organized, which has made the experience a positive one for me. The people receiving the food are very thankful. They shout thank you to us and wave as we’re leaving their homes.”

Stephanie Johnson, Office Assistant,
Family Literacy and Community Services

“I’m really excited and thankful to play a part in helping get food out into the community. I really think something like this was and is needed…” 

Denise Williams, Senior Library Assistant,
Family Literacy and Community Services