Volunteers work to provide food to needy families for Thanksgiving


GREENVILLE, Pitt County - As a disabled veteran and former foster child, Audra Singleton said she knows how hard the holiday season can be for families in need.

Wednesday, the pastor and a few volunteers gave about 75 local families a helping hand with food for their Thanksgiving. Singleton started a food pantry in Greenville 10 years ago to help families in need. Project Anna distributes food several times a month but does large distributions like the one on Wednesday when the need is greatest.

"That's what we're here for," Singleton said. "Everyone who needs assistance, not because they're lazy or not because they're ignorant or didn't try their best. Sometimes life just happens, and it's just better when we stick together."

Project Anna's food pantry typically sends families home with $100 worth of groceries. Wednesday, families went home with $300 worth.

That means a lot to people like Stephanie Winfield. She's a nurse who recently had to stop working because she hurt her back. Between her recent birthday and the upcoming holidays, she said it's a rough time of the year.

"And that was pretty depressing because ... I have a house and I'm been in the house for about 11 years," Winfield said. "So at this point, I can't pay for my house. But I couldn't really celebrate it there, because my lights weren't on."

Winfield said as a nurse, she's used to always being the one others come to for help, which is why this help means so much.

"Because I know the enemy wants you to feel like you're hopeless, but there's hope in the Lord Jesus Christ," Winfield said.

Winfield said she's grateful for people like Singleton, who are inclined to help others. Though it's a stressful season, she said she keeps her faith and looks forward now to Thanksgiving.

"All those in Greenville who are doing good," Winfield said. "I hope they have that circle around them that keep them encouraged."