Chaney: Food Bank volunteerism critical in fight against hunger


Eileen Chaney


By Anna Goodwin McCarthy

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Eileen Chaney has served as a volunteer at Food Bank of the Albemarle for more than 14 years.

“I’ve always had that spirit of giving back,” says Chaney, who works as an intake volunteer with the organization. “I absolutely love being there.”

Chaney said she chose to volunteer with the Food Bank of the Albemarle because she believes in the importance of providing nourishment to all those in need.

“It is crucial that everybody has adequate food,” she said. “None of us know when circumstances can change.”

According to Food Bank officials, the agency serves about 13,000 to 14,000 households a month across a 15-county service area.

Chaney said Food Bank of the Albemarle accepts monetary and food donations. But it also needs people like her who will give the organization their time. 

“There is a great need for volunteers,” said Chaney.

Born in West Virginia, Chaney moved to Elizabeth City with her husband and has lived here for 42 years.

“It is a great place to raise children,” said Chaney. “I love it here.”

Cheney, who retired from her job as risk manager for the city of Elizabeth City in 2004, enjoys spending time with her five children and four grandchildren. She also likes to read and play bridge.

She is also an active member at Holy Family Catholic Church, volunteers for American Red Cross blood drives, and works with the Community Care Clinic. 

A master gardener, Chaney also loves roses and volunteering in community gardening projects with fellow gardeners.

“It’s great to be with people who enjoy what you enjoy,” said Chaney.

While she will not be able to participate in Food Bank of the Albemarle’s 35th Walk for Hunger on Sept. 29, Chaney said she has attended in previous years and describes it as a “fun event” with opportunities for fellowship.

“It brings people together,” said Chaney. “It definitely calls to attention the need for adequate food.”

“It is so basic a human need,” she added.

About 200 people participated in last year’s Walk for Hunger, a 4.1-mile trek across Elizabeth City. The walk helped the Food Bank raise more than $41,000, enough to buy more than 160,000 meals for the Food Bank’s clients across northeastern North Carolina.

For more information about Food Bank of the Albemarle or the upcoming Walk for Hunger, visit http://afoodbank.org/.