The $20 Question

If you had $20, what would you buy to feed your family for the longest period of time? This is a question many families face every day.

Families who struggle to make ends meet need assistance and support; fortunately, there are a number of smaller organizations that strive to help those in their own community.

One of them is Western Wake Crisis Ministry, a food pantry and financial aid organization serving residents of Apex, Holly Springs, New Hill and Friendship. It provides immediate assistance to people experiencing emergency situations related to food, shelter and other basic human needs.

Founded in 1983 by Antoinette Clark, the organization first operated out of the basement of a church and successfully served about seven families a week. With the help of local businesses and volunteers, WWCM is now able to serve about 80 families each week.

Rebecca Sidden, director of WWCM, explains that the pantry is set up like a small grocery store where individuals who qualify may come in once every 30 days to choose the food they wish to bring home to their families.

“About 90 percent of the items are donated locally and the other 10 percent  is purchased from the food bank,” Siddon said. “We try to get as many things locally as we can.”

WWCM not only feeds families, but also provides financial assistance with everything from utility bills and rent to prescriptions. Individuals can receive this assistance once a year if they meet the specific requirements.

Sidden said, “All of these funds are raised privately through individuals, churches, local businesses and fundraisers, with the exception of a small grant through the Apex PeakFest Committee.”

Volunteers are the heart and soul of WWCM; here’s how you can help:

  • Check the Facebook page of WWCM for most-needed items to donate, at
  • Pick up food donations from a local grocery in the morning between 9:30 and 10 a.m. You will be paired with another volunteer.
  • Answer phones and other small administrative tasks. During busy times, you may help process families requesting food aid, if you are interested.
  • Unload USDA food deliveries on the fourth Thursday of each month between 10 a.m. and noon.
  • Youth over the age of 12 may volunteer inside the Western Wake Crisis Ministry facility under the supervision of their parent on Sundays when a volunteer is available to assist with projects. Email for hours and information.
  • For youth project ideas that can be done outside the WWCM office on its behalf, visit

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