The Food Pantry

The Food Pantry

Our Commitment

It is CORA’s belief that it is our obligation as citizens of this community to combat hunger, whatever its cause, and to do so in a nondiscriminatory way.

Who We Serve

CORA Food Pantry distributes more than 250 tons of food each year to food insecure Chatham County families. Food recipients must be residents of Chatham County and be referred to CORA by a Social Services agency (government or private nonprofit) or a church pastor. Qualified families and individuals can receive a week’s worth of groceries up to six times in a 12-month period. These weekly food allotments are selected to provide 21 nutritionally balanced meals for each family member. **Unlike many food pantries, we allow our clients to “shop” and select their own food in predetermined quantities based on family size. This gives them a sense of control and empowerment and helps to foster self esteem during a time of great difficulty. It also helps to prevent food waste. Volunteers assist clients with their selections, share recipes and stories, and refer clients to other agencies when needed.  We hope the end result of our assistance is a return of the client to self sufficiency, but if that is not possible, adequate permanent support from appropriate agencies. CORA also accommodates in a similar fashion those who are certified as needing more than 6 visits in 12 months. Most of these “emergency” visits are for seniors on fixed incomes.

For recent service numbers and other statistics see the 2018 Annual Report for the last full fiscal year. Statistics for previous years can be found on our Media Page.

CORA has never turned away any qualified food recipient, and with your help we never will! If you would like to make a donation of food or funds to help us continue to serve all families who need our help, please go to our Donation Page.

**What Else Makes CORA Special? Click Here.

Where We Get Our Food

Donated Food

Fifty percent (50%) of all food distributed is donated to CORA. Food drives and individual donations account for 21% of the food we distribute. 11% comes from the *USDA TEFAP program (The Emergency Food Assistance Program) of the federal government. 8% comes from local grocery stores (Harris Teeter at Chatham Downs, Food Lion in Pittsboro, Lowes Foods in Chapel Hill, Food Lion at Governor’s Village, and Food Lion in Siler City).

If you would like to donate food or organize a food drive, email us at

Purchased Food

CORA is a partner agency of the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina, and we buy food through the Durham Branch of the Food Bank each week. We also purchase food at a discount from Lowes Foods of Chapel Hill, north of Pittsboro on 15/501. During the growing season many local farmers contribute a great variety of produce to the pantry.

Because we are an affiliate of the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina, we are eligible to purchase food at deep discounts from Project Preserve, one of the Feeding America National Food Banks in Nashville, Tennessee. This resource has allowed us to decrease our cost per pound for food — a big factor in our ability to meet the increased need for food support in Chatham County. Our current cost for food purchased is only 60 cents per pound! 



*USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

CORA is an equal opportunity provider.