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A Place of Hope and Comfort for Many in our Community

Brief History

What began as a community effort to provide firewood to residents of Chatham County has grown into an organization that provides over 1.2 million meals each year to people facing food insecurity. In the late 1980s, church volunteers delivered firewood to families in need, and when visiting these homes, they found that food was often a more pressing need than firewood. Chatham Outreach Alliance (CORA) was founded in 1989 by members of several local churches who recognized that hunger plagued numerous families within the community. Our mission was — and continues to be — providing food to any resident experiencing food insecurity.

In 1990, its first full year of operation, CORA served 253 families. After a decade of continued growth, by 2003, CORA was serving 1,400 families a year. By 2015, the demand for CORA’s services had increased by 850% to 2,400 families. Today, we continue to see an increase in need, and in fiscal year 2023, we served over 3,000 families.

If you would like to learn more about the history of CORA, please download our booklet HERE.

Hours and Location

CORA is located at 40 Camp Drive in Pittsboro, NC. Please call us at 919-542-5020 if you have questions.

Pantry Hours:

Office Hours:

Program Summaries

Please visit Our Work to learn more.

  • Food Pantry – CORA is open Monday through Thursday for choice shopping from 10 am to 2 pm. We are open Friday 10 am and 12 pm for drive-through service. CORA’s Pantry is set up like a grocery store for choice shopping, and community members choose the food that matches their preferences and needs. We also have a satellite pantry at Freedom Family Church at 421 N. Holly Avenue in Siler City. Food distribution is on the second Saturday of the month from 10 am – 12 pm.
  • Mobile Market – We currently distribute food via a drive-through model. Families stay in their cars, and pre-packed groceries are placed in their vehicles. Assorted options like the Pantry include local fresh produce, meats, dairy, bakery items, and shelf-stable staples.
  • SNACK! – This program distributes food to more than 1,300 kids who depend upon free or reduced-cost meals at school during the school year but have little or no replacement for this nutrition when school is not in session. SNACK! provides each participating child with 21 healthy meals each week from mid-June through mid-August.
  • CORApacks – Every student receives food on weekends and during school breaks from September through June when school is not in session. The program delivers a monthly food box to each child’s home, which contains three meals and two snacks per day for when a child is not in school.
  • Delivery to Older Adults – We deliver food to home-bound older adults in our community.
The Need

According to the North Carolina Budget and Tax Center, approximately 11% of the population in Chatham County lives at or below the poverty level, and 27% is considered low-income. In addition, according to the 2021 Chatham County Health Assessment, more than 1 in 6 households reported cost as a barrier to eating healthy snacks and meals. Last year, CORA distributed 1.28 million meals to over 10,000 individuals. CORA is dedicated to improving access to nutritious food and the quality of life by meeting the needs of those facing food insecurity through our various programs.

Research shows that access to nutritious food is the key to a healthy community where children do well in school, families thrive, and seniors do not face the stress of choosing between food and other necessities. Providing nutritious food in underserved areas improves the community’s health and economic vitality. Food insecurity does not occur in a silo, and systemic inequities occur on the basis of income, race, gender, age, immigration status, and other social identities. CORA is working towards an equitable and resilient food system for all Chatham County residents by providing healthy and nutritious foods to those facing hunger in our community.