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Waterline Brewing Company was packed on Saturday for Bestival 2019, celebrating encore’s Best Of and the community at large! See interviews and videos featuring winners in Organizations and Community category below!

Check out more photos from Chris Brehmer Photography and Tom Dorgan on encore’s Facebook page!

Click here for complete list of winners and runners-up.

Nourish NC’s Executive Director Steve McCrossan proudly smiles with their award for Best Nonprofit

Nourish NC’s Executive Director Steve McCrossan proudly smiles with their award for Best Nonprofit

BEST NONPROFIT: NOURISH NC

This year’s Best Nonprofit win goes to Nourish NC, which took 40% of the votes. Last time encore spoke with the Nourish NC crew a few months ago, they were launching their Food Farmacy pilot program. We caught up with Steve McCrossan, Nourish NC’s executive director, to chat about the program’s progress and 2019 Best Of win.

encore (e): Tell us how Food Farmacy is going and about how many families have benefitted so far.

Steve McCrossan (SM): The response from our partners at NHMRC’s Nunnelee Pediatrics and the families they serve has been very positive. The Nunnelee Pediatric Clinic is dedicated to serving children with chronic medical conditions and the their team are thrilled to be able to provide assistance to their food insecure patients right inside the office. The kids and their families are blown away by the idea that their doctor would offer them food directly. But that’s the point of the Food Farmacy Program: 1) introduce food insecurity screening into the daily work flow of pediatricians and healthcare professionals; 2) immediately address malnutrition, hunger and child food insecurity (with the box and prescription); and then 3) prevent these issues by connecting children to NNC’s Backpack Program or other resources.

Here is a story from a clinician at Nunnelee shared with us after the family screened positive for food insecurity:

“I explained to her that through the program with NourishNC, I had a box of food for her, and also a voucher for fruit, fresh vegetables, meat, and bread. I also told her of the resources list in the box that would help her with other resources in the community. She began crying, and thanked me. She explained that she was raising 5 of her grandchildren, and this would be a great help. I carried the box to her car for her (she had health issues, and could not carry it herself), and she still had tears in her eyes as she thanked me again. This program is really helping our community, and thanks to all the people that are responsible.”

By the time you go to print nearly 100 children in the clinic will have screened positive for food insecurity and then received the Food Farmacy Box (25 nutritious meals and snacks), a prescription for 20 pounds of fresh produce, meat/eggs, and wheat bread.

e: Clearly “feeding the future” is on the minds of many Wilmingtonians who believe in Nourish NC’s work—why do you think Nourish NC’s mission resonates with so many at the moment in ILM?

SM: There is an old quote from Fredrick Douglas that goes something like, “It’s easier to build strong children that to repair broken adults.” We envision NourishNC as part of a “wraparound ecosystem” that is dedicated to building happy and healthy children and driven by partnerships. If our community’s most vulnerable children are to reach higher levels of health and wellness then we must meet their most basic needs first. Our goal is address these children’s unmet physiological needs so our partners can more effectively educate them, address their illnesses, and help them build resiliency. This community seems to understand that notion and has really rallied behind NourishNC.

e: You have your gala in September, any planning news or updates we can share with readers on that front?

SM: This year’s gala is presented by Slice of Life and features custom food stations by local faves True Blue Butcher (runnerup for Best Steak) and a surprise guest, live music from Masonboro Sound and Port City Shakedown, inspiration by Dr. Phillip Brown (chief physician executive at New Hanover Regional Medical Center), décor donated by Design Perfection, craft cocktails, hosted bar, and great auctions. All proceeds benefit NourishNC’s programs. Tickets go on sale July 1 and will sell out quick so get them right away. Coastline Convention Center, September 21. Check out nourishnc.org for more details.

e: We saw you’re looking for drivers on FB—tell us more about that volunteer opportunity, the commitment hours and such in case anyone is interested…

SM: We have filled that opportunity. We post all volunteer opps here. Check back often or follow us on Facebook.

e: What are some other ways folks can get involved with Nourish NC this summer and the rest of 2019?

SM: Oh man, there are so many ways to help: you can sponsor a child’s “Summer Break Box” that will provide them with three meals a day all summer long, host a creative food drive to help us fill those boxes, and volunteer to help us pack them. This and lots more great ways to get involved at nourishnc.org/takeaction.
—Shannon Gentry

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Best Of Wilmington

Encore Magazine regularly covers topics pertaining to news, arts, entertainment, food, and city life in Wilmington. It also maintains schedules and listings of local events like concerts, festivals, live performance art and think-tank events. Encore Magazine is an entity of H&P Media, which also powers Wilmington’s local ticketing platform, 910tix.com. Print and online editions are updated every Wednesday.

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