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Fighting Food Insecurity in Chatham County


Due to COVID-19 we are currently distributing food via a drive-through model. Families stay in their car and pre-packed groceries are placed in their vehicle. 

CORA is open Monday through Thursday between 10 am – 1 pm to families in need of food. Families are allowed two visits per month. If food is needed beyond the two visits, please come to CORA and we will assist you.

CORA also offers delivery. If you live in Chatham County and have physical difficulties, disabilities, medical conditions, or other barriers that prevent you from coming to CORA, we offer a home delivery program. We have limited spots available, and if you are interested please contact Mackie Hunter at

CORA serves any Chatham County resident who needs food through our choice Food Pantry. We are open Monday through Thursday from 10 am to 1 pm (excluding state holidays). You DO NOT need a referral from DSS or any other agency. Please just come by and we will assist you.

CORA is a place of hope, compassion, and dignity for many in our community, where there is always an empathetic ear, supportive smile, and nutritious food to help meet their needs. CORA serves a diverse community; families, students, and the elderly many of whom thought they would never have to seek food assistance. We are committed to meeting people where they are and establishing new partnerships across Chatham County to ensure that all those facing food insecurity have access to nutritious food.


Family Choice

CORA serves any Chatham County resident who needs food through our choice Food Pantry. CORA’s Pantry is set up like a grocery store and community members choose the food that matches their preferences and needs. Our community members have various options when choosing their groceries, from local fresh produce, meats, dairy, bakery items, shelf-stable staples, to personal hygiene items. CORA believes when families choose their own foods, it creates an atmosphere of dignity and builds a sense of community between staff, volunteers, and those we serve.

Nutritious Foods

CORA has created a space that empowers community members to employ healthy eating strategies. We use SWAP (Supporting Wellness at Pantries), a stoplight nutrition ranking system designed to help promote healthy food choices and ranks foods based on saturated fat, sodium, and sugar. The SWAP system ranks foods into green (choose frequently), yellow (choose sometimes), and red (choose rarely). In addition, volunteers are trained to educate community members in making smart choices through nutrition classes, food demonstrations, healthy samples, and one on one conversations.

Reducing Waste

CORA does not turn away usable donations. Most things that we cannot or do not distribute to the public are passed forward to other organizations that need them. When food is not safe for humans, it can many times be used for animals.

Celebration Station

Every child should be able to celebrate a birthday!

When families come through our pantry, a CORA volunteer asks if there is a child in the family that has a birthday in the current month. If “yes,” the visitor is introduced to CORA’s special “Celebration Station” stocked with gift bags full of supplies and treats for a small birthday party. Families can choose a Birthday Bag that is age and gender appropriate for the birthday child.

Celebration Station is a perfect service project for youth groups and churches. If you are making birthday bags, think about items appropriate for the following categories. We also gladly accept gender neutral bags.

  • boys age two – seven years
  • girls age two – seven years
  • boys age eight – twelve years
  • girls age eight – twelve years.

When your bags are complete, tag each one with age range and gender. The contents of each bag should be sort of like a little party in a bag for 6 to 8 people.

Birthday Bags start with a colorful gift bag and should contain the following:

  • Cake Mix
  • Frosting
  • Candles
  • A small gift such as a book, puzzle, coloring book, crayons, stuffed animal, or action figure.

Other items you may want to include are napkins, cups, paper plates, or party favors. When your bags are ready, call the CORA to schedule a drop-off day and time. If you have questions, please contact Rebecca Hankins at