SMITHFIELD – The Junior Women’s League of Smithfield (JWL) has seen months of hard work by its newest members come to fruition with the completion of two projects by its provisional members to address food insecurity in Johnston County.
In August 2019, members of JWL’s provisional class were split into two project groups. As they began researching the needs, one group determined that while there are a number of organizations that offer assistance, it was often difficult to find information about the programs offered. After months of research and outreach to organizations across the county, the first Johnston County Food Resource Guide was published on March 30, 2020 with printed guides placed at JWL’s Blessing Boxes around the county, and a digital version available at www.JWLSmithfield.com.
The second group elected to expand on the previous provisional class’ Blessing Box project. They would go on to build and install four new Blessing Boxes, small pantries stocked with free food and personal care items for people in need that are able to be accessed at any time, in Archer Lodge, Kenly, Meadow, and Pine Level. The provisional members coordinated a drive among JWL members to donate supplies to stock and replenish the boxes, and members of the general public are also encouraged to contribute items at the following locations:
• Archer Lodge Fire Department, located at 6483 Covered Bridge Road (Clayton)
• Benson Fire Department, located at 313 S. Elm Street
• Kenly Fire Department, located at 101 W. First Street
• Meadow Fire Department, located at 7409 NC-50 South (Benson)
• Pine Level Fire Department, located at 104 W. Main Street
• Selma Fire Department, located at 201 N. Webb Street
• Smithfield Fire Department, located at 111 S. Fourth Street
• Thanksgiving Fire Department, at 2375 Thanksgiving Fire Department Rd. (Selma)
“We are so proud of our provisional members and their work to add new resources and raise awareness of existing resources during this time in which the needs have been so apparent,” said Erin Smith, Vice President of Community Outreach & Engagement. “We invite people who would like to support our Blessing Box initiative to contribute non-perishable food and personal care items to the boxes directly, or to make a donation on the JWL website.”
JWL members will continue to update the Food Resource Guide and ask that anyone who has information regarding other available assistance please email that information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
About The Junior Women’s League of Smithfield
The Junior Women’s League of Smithfield (JWL) is a non-profit organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women, and improving the community through the effective action of trained volunteers. Our organization was founded in Smithfield, but is dedicated to the betterment of all communities within Johnston County. Since the League’s establishment in February 2016, JWL has made $90,000 in donations to Johnston County nonprofit organizations and completed more than 10,600 hours of community service.