On Thursday, January 18, representatives of Hatteras Island Meals (HIM) headed to Sun Realty in Salvo to receive a donation from the vacation rental and real estate company towards their operations.
Over the past year, a number of local businesses have pitched in to help the local organization through concerts, hefty donations, and donated items for the non-profit’s annual raffle, but funds are a continual need to provide meals to dozens of islanders every week.
“We run solely on volunteers and donations,” said Maria Gould, HIM Vice President. “Last year, we were able to deliver 8,904 meals on Hatteras Island, and we currently have 50 meal recipients.”
HIM is a longstanding and all-volunteer organization on Hatteras Island which provides nutritious meals to elderly or homebound island residents. The nonprofit began in 1987 as an informal endeavor, (where local folks prepared meals for their neighbors), and today it serves clients from Rodanthe to Hatteras Village.
The roughly 60 volunteers pick up the meals from generous distributors on the island – Marilyn’s Deli at Island Convenience and Waves Market & Deli in the Tri-villages, Diamond Shoals Restaurant in Buxton, and Sonny’s in Hatteras in the summer months – and then deliver the meals to folks along their assigned route.
Deliveries are made multiple days per week, and deep connections are made between the clients and volunteers who provide both food and company to local residents who may have trouble leaving their homes.
But there may be challenges ahead, starting with inflation. “The cost of [meals] hasn’t increased yet, but we expect it to at some point,” said Gould.
In addition, while the number of clients fluctuates year to year, some communities have seen big recent increases. For example, the Tri-villages community of Rodanthe, Waves, and Salvo had just a handful of clients a year or two ago. Today, the number of clients in this area is 17. “This year, that number has really gone up. It has been a big change,” said Debbie Owens, RWS Community Coordinator.
But despite upcoming challenges and potential hurdles, HIM keeps rolling thanks to the generosity of the community, volunteers, and support from all corners of the island. From local businesses that donate when they can, to visitors who purchase tickets during the seasonal annual raffle, it takes seven villages to keep HIM going strong.
“Hatteras Island Meals truly appreciates the support of our local residents, businesses, and visitors,” said Gould. “Without the community’s trust, we would not be able to fulfill our mission.”
How you can help:
For more information on Hatteras Island Meals, and to make a donation or learn about volunteering opportunities, visit https://hatterasislandmeals.org/. More information can also be found on the organization’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/HatterasIslandMeals/.