Food drive will honor volunteer’s late husband

Posted November 19, 2010 by pastorspantry
Categories: Events, General News

Pastor's Pantry volunteer Nancy Yarbrough admires a photograph of her late husband, Billy H. Yarbrough.

A food drive this Saturday will memorialize the late husband of a valuable Pastor’s Pantry volunteer.

The event, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Big Lots on Winston Road in Lexington, will be conducted in memory of Billy H. Yarbrough, who passed away in June 2009 at age 73 after a battle with cancer, and will be led by veteran community food drive organizer Freddie Huff.

Yarbrough’s wife, Nancy Yarbrough, spends many weekday afternoons doing volunteer work at the Pantry.

Nancy Yarbrough thinks her husband, a religious man who loved helping others, would be pleased that Saturday’s food drive is being carried out in his name.

“I get excited when I go to tell people about it,” she said. “He’s still helping other people for the Lord. He’s gone, but he’s still working.”

The Yarbroughs were married for 55 years and lived in western Davidson County. They had a daughter, three granddaughters, and one great-granddaughter (so far).

Bill Yarbrough did office work and made deliveries for 32 years for Stratford Tool & Die in Winston-Salem. He also labored on his own in his home workshop, making furniture and repairing just about anything that anyone needed fixing.

In addition, he played steel guitar in a gospel band that performed at square dances, nursing homes, the Veterans Administration Hospital in Salisbury and his church. He was an active member of Lakeview Baptist Church.

His wife, who still mourns his loss, began volunteering at Pastor’s Pantry early this year.

She encouraged Huff to hold a food drive for the Pantry.

According to Huff, Billy Yarbrough was “a quiet, spirited man who loved his family, the Lord, and the work he did for the Lord.”

Huff, a retired law enforcement officer and truck driver who serves on the Lexington Crimestoppers Board, has organized countless food drives over the past 21 years in Davidson County. Beneficiaries have included Crisis Ministry, the Salvation Army, Shepherd's Inn and 14 churches.

Huff led a drive for Pastor's Pantry a couple of years ago. Bill Keesler, executive director of Pastor's Pantry, said he is glad Huff chose to help the agency again.

"Freddie Huff is the greatest of all food drive organizers in Davidson County," Keesler said. "We know we will benefit from his experience and his expertise on Saturday."

Keesler also thanked Nancy Yarbrough for suggesting the drive to Huff.

"Nancy cares a lot about Pastor's Pantry, and we care a lot about Nancy," Keesler said. "We couldn't do what we do without the assistance of volunteers like Nancy."

Keesler also thanked Big Lots and its Winston Road store manager, Shawn Hubbard, for allowing Huff and the Pantry to set up in front of the store for the food drive.

Pastor's Pantry supplies monthly groceries for senior adults in financial need in Davidson County and members of their households. The nonprofit agency also provides emergency packs of food for younger people in critical need.

Pastor's Pantry hopes Saturday's drive will attract a lot of food donations.

"Many senior adults in the county need food," Keesler said. "So far in November, we've been adding about one new client household every day."

Pastor's Pantry now serves more than 490 regular monthly clients — the most in its history. "The increased numbers are really stretching our food supplies thin," Keesler said.


Uptown Christmas event will aid Pantry

Posted November 15, 2010 by pastorspantry
Categories: Events, General News

A church and a law firm will collect food for Pastor's Pantry on Sunday afternoon at Uptown Lexington's Christmas Open House.

Uptown Lexington’s annual Christmas Open House, scheduled this Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m., will help fill Pastor’s Pantry’s shelves with food.

“Seventeen years ago, Uptown Lexington Inc. started Christmas Open House as a way for the community to celebrate the holiday season,” said Jo Ellen Edwards, Uptown Lexington’s executive director. “It also brought attention to the many merchants in uptown Lexington and served as a reminder to shop here before heading to the malls for Black Friday.”

Again this year, in addition to celebrating the holiday season, the event will give back to the community. This Sunday, Nov. 21, members of First Reformed United Church of Christ and employees of the Brinkley Walser law firm will join together to collect non-perishable food items for Pastor’s Pantry, the food bank for senior adults in financial need in Davidson County.

“First Reformed UCC held the first food drive during last year’s Christmas Open House,” said Edwards. “We are so pleased these two groups in our district are partnering to help Pastor’s Pantry, an organization located just outside of the district.”

David Inabinett, managing member of Brinkley Walser PLLC, said, “The local economy has been slow to rebound. We continue to hear of local families needing assistance with the basics of food and shelter. The staff here at Brinkley Walser felt that it was important to find a way to give back to the community. The food drive is a great way to help by ensuring the local pantry shelves are stocked to meet the need. We hope everyone in the area will donate what they can and that those outside of Davidson County will consider donating to their local food banks.”

Lynn Klopp, food drive coordinator for First Reformed UCC, said because the church is located uptown but is not a retail merchant, “a food drive was a natural way for our church members to be part of this annual event.” The food drive is one of the activities undertaken by the church’s Board of Community Outreach.

Bill Keesler, executive director of Pastor’s Pantry, said the drive during the Christmas Open House “will provide a much-needed boost to our food supplies. As the difficult economy continues, our client list for monthly groceries has grown to nearly 500 Davidson Countians — not just senior adults but also younger members of their households, including grandchildren and great-grandchildren — as well as others of all ages needing food on an emergency basis. Serving that many people requires more food. We are deeply grateful to members of First Reformed United Church of Christ and employees of Brinkley Walser for the time and effort they are devoting to help us.”

Karen Greene, business manager for Brinkley Walser, said when she was asked by the firm’s management team to organize a firm service project, she “saw the Lexington Christmas Open House information and the plan for a food drive just fell into place. There is so much good that we can all do if we just watch for opportunities. I’m proud to work for a firm that is so focused on the community where we do business.”

This new partnership will give Christmas Open House attendees a place on both sides of Main Street to drop off food items during the event: an area on East Center Street at First Reformed UCC, which will be coordinated by church members, and the NewBridge parking lot at the corner of West Center and State streets, which will be coordinated by law firm employees. In addition, items can be dropped off at Brinkley Walser’s offices at 10 LSB Plaza from Nov. 15-24 during regular business hours of 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

“We are also very excited to be part of Uptown Lexington Inc.’s Christmas Open House,” said Keesler. “For me personally, the Open House has always been one of my favorite events of the year in Lexington. I’m really glad that while we are having fun kicking off the Christmas season, we can also help people in need.”

Michael Holshouser, president of the Uptown Lexington board of directors, said ULI “is pleased two groups in our uptown district will be joining Christmas Open House as a way to give back to our community. We encourage all who can to contribute to the drive.”

Gift givers sought for Pastor’s Pantry clients

Posted November 10, 2010 by pastorspantry
Categories: General News, How to Help

The Christmas tree in Pastor's Pantry's lobby this year is decorated with 480 cards -- each containing gift wishes from one of our clients. More cards are added every time we add new clients, which has been daily recently as more senior adults apply for food.

Pastor’s Pantry needed a larger Christmas tree this year to hold all the cards for its still-growing list of clients.

As difficult economic conditions persist, a total of 480 cards, about 14 percent more than last year, cover the newly displayed tree in the front lobby of the pantry, a nonprofit food bank for senior adults in financial need throughout Davidson County.

Each card contains an individual client’s holiday wishes – from store gift cards to pajamas, socks, underwear, blankets, sheets, toiletries and cleaning supplies. Clients include not only county residents 60 years of age and older, but also younger household members, such as children. In a holiday tradition, the pantry asks community residents to take cards off the tree and help make clients’ gift wishes come true.

“We hope that individuals, families, school and Sunday school classes, businesses, Scout troops, civic clubs, retirement groups and other organizations will once again help give our clients a joyous holiday season,” said Bill Keesler, Pastor’s Pantry’s executive director.

Participating in the Christmas tree is easy. Come to the pantry at 307 N. State St. in Lexington (between Sam’s Car Wash and the Lexington Cemetery), and select a card or cards from the tree. Sign the list recording which cards you picked. Bring back wrapped gifts with the cards attached by Monday, Dec. 6. Pantry staff members will deliver the gifts to clients next month.

For more information, contact Pastor’s Pantry at (336) 249-8824 or

Pantry offers wine tour to raise funds

Posted August 4, 2010 by pastorspantry
Categories: Events

Living today in North Carolina’s Yadkin River Valley is like living in California’s Napa Valley. Vineyards and wineries are everywhere. But many residents busy with daily responsibilities have not been able to visit them. Here’s an opportunity.

With financial support from NewBridge Bank, Carolina Drawers, and Sarah E. Frye, DDS, PA, in Lexington, Pastor’s Pantry, the nonprofit food bank for senior adults in financial need in Davidson County, has organized a one-day wine tour on Aug. 14 as a fundraiser. In five short hours, participants will be able to visit three vineyards/wineries in Davidson County.

“This is a chance to experience an exciting new industry and support area tourism while helping raise money to feed the hungry,” said Bill Keesler, Pastor’s Pantry executive director.

At 10 a.m. that Saturday, participants will board a bus from P & B Travels of Lexington at the Shoppes at Vineyards Crossing, the shopping center near the Childress Vineyards winery in Lexington. At 10:30 a.m. they will taste wines at the Weathervane winery in Welcome and get a description of that winemaking business from owner Sid Proctor. At noon, they will taste wines at Junius Lindsay Vineyards in Arcadia, eat a box lunch, and hear the story of that grape-growing operation from owner Michael Zimmerman. At 2 p.m., they will return to Childress Vineyards for a tasting and winery tour and may catch part of the final hour of that day’s Music in the Vineyards performance. Participants will receive a glass from each of the three wineries.

The Pastor’s Pantry’s wine tour ends at 3 p.m. But for an additional charge at a special rate, interested participants can also attend at 6 p.m. at Childress Vineyards the StART on the Vine fundraiser for Carolina Cancer Services, including a performance by internationally known blues and jazz singer Melva Houston, art, wine, food, and silent and live auctions.

The Pastor’s Pantry tour costs $50 a person. To purchase tickets, send checks to Pastor’s Pantry, P.O. Box 2051, Lexington, NC 27293; email; or call Bill Keesler at 336/249-8824, ext. 301, or 336/250-0439. Tickets may also be purchased by credit card. Order as soon as possible. Only 46 seats are available on the bus.

To help cover wine tour expenses, NewBridge Bank will hold a hot dog sale at its Lexington main office from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Aug. 13. Lunches consisting of two hot dogs, chips, and a drink will cost $5. You can pre-order by calling Amanda Laws at 336/239-7982.

Pastor’s Pantry supplies monthly groceries for needy seniors age 60 and older and members of their families – about 450 clients living in 320 households across Davidson County. The pantry also provides food for younger individuals and families on an emergency basis.

Pack A Pickup sets new record

Posted August 2, 2010 by pastorspantry
Categories: Donations, Events, General News

Erica Davidson (right), manager of the Wal-Mart SuperCenter in Lexington, and Kristy Lanning (center), a Wal-Mart associate, stand beside some of the 1,800 packages of Ramen Noodles donated by Wal-Mart to the Pack A Pickup food drive for Pastor's Pantry at Sam's Car Wash in Lexington on Saturday. Tony Church (left), a Pastor's Pantry volunteer from Kimberly-Clark Corp. in Lexington, counts the packages.

The Third Annual Pack A Pickup food drive at Sam’s Car Wash in Lexington on Saturday brought in 4,575 food items for Pastor’s Pantry, setting a record for the third consecutive year.

Cloudy skies and the threat of rain during the six-hour drive might have scared away some potential donors who had hoped to capitalize on the offer of a free exterior car wash from Sam’s in exchange for 12 food items for Pastor’s Pantry.

But food contributions from Wal-Mart, Food Lion, Lowes Foods and Conrad & Hinkle helped eclipse the previous record of 3,935 items, set in 2009. The first Pack A Pickup in 2008 attracted 2,705 items.

In addition, Sam’s Car Wash owner Sam Allen donated a sport utility vehicle load of food and matched monetary donations of $77 to Pastor’s Pantry during the drive.

A number of individual vehicle owners contributed food but elected to take rainchecks for car washes on a sunnier day.

Mark McGuffin and DeeDee Lanier of WLXN radio in Lexington conducted a live remote from the car wash during the first two hours of the drive.

About 20 Pastor’s Pantry volunteers helped receive food at the car wash on North Main Street, transport it to the Pantry, and process it in the Pantry’s food warehouse. The Pantry is located directly across North Greensboro Street from the car wash, between Sam’s and Lexington Cemetery.

The Pantry grilled hot dogs and served lunch for its volunteers and Sam’s employees.

The donated groceries are helping fill Pantry shelves at a time of year when food contributions go down.

Pastor’s Pantry, a food bank for senior adults in financial need and members of their households, now supplies monthly groceries for about 450 people in Davidson County.

The Pantry thanks Sam Allen and his employees for again setting aside a day to help their neighbor. We also thank the other businesses and individuals whose support made this year’s Pack A Pickup another success.

DCCC garden supplies fresh veggies

Posted July 13, 2010 by pastorspantry
Categories: General News

Davidson County Community College biology instructor Holly Weir and 4-and-5-year-olds from DCCC's Child Development Center show off vegetables picked Tuesday, July 13, for Pastor's Pantry from the college's Community Garden.

Pastor’s Pantry clients can look forward to receiving fresh vegetables from Davidson County Community College’s Community Garden.

On Tuesday, July 13, DCCC biology instructor Holly Weir and 17 children and five teachers from the college’s Child Development Center presented Pastor’s Pantry with the first produce harvested from the 2,100-square-foot garden.

This first haul was small — just three yellow squash, two zucchini, and seven pieces of okra.

But summer is young, and the many blooms in the garden suggest the plot will produce many more vegetables before the growing season ends. Bell peppers, green beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, cantaloupe, and Silver Queen corn have also been planted.

That’s good news for Pastor’s Pantry clients. They love getting fresh produce with their monthly groceries during the summer.

And many people believe that locally grown food is the healthiest and tastiest to eat. The Community Garden is part of a green initiative at DCCC. The garden uses no pesticides. It will depend on compact discs hung up with string and on hair cut in the college’s Cosmetology Department to scare away deer and other varmints.

Weir and volunteers helping with the garden will deliver harvested produce to Pastor’s Pantry on Mondays so the pantry can pass the produce along to its clients throughout the week. A food pantry in Davie County, where DCCC also has a campus, will share in the bounty.

Pastor’s Pantry is grateful to DCCC for the food.

Kentucky Derby party raises funds for Pantry

Posted May 3, 2010 by pastorspantry
Categories: Events, General News

About 100 people came Saturday to the beautiful grounds at March Motorcars outside Lexington, NC, for a Kentucky Derby party to raise funds for Pastor’s Pantry.

Guests watched the television broadcast of the famous horse race on a huge screen.

They also cheered as four men raced across the March Motorcars lawn carrying glasses of grape juice on small trays in the Run for the Rose’, an event based on a similar pre-derby activity in Louisville, KY.

Lexington’s Cindy McNeill, who might have set a record for the amount of foliage on top of her head, won the derby hat contest.

Guests also enjoyed a delicious dinner topped off with Derby Pie and served by On Time Catering of Lexington.

And they participated in silent and live auctions.

The party is the biggest fundraiser of the year for Pastor’s Pantry.

The pantry is a nonprofit food bank for senior adults (60 years of age and older) in financial need in Davidson County, NC.

For more information, contact Bill Keesler, executive director, at or 336/249-8824.