Tuesday, August 26, 2014

CUOC Reaps Rewards of Sanford's Largest NNO Yet

The City of Sanford’s 21st National Night Out on Tuesday, Aug. 5 happened to be its biggest yet – both in number of sites and the number of people helped.

Several brand new sites helped swell Sanford’s total number of NNO locations to 37, the largest number of participants in Sanford’s history with the initiative. Previously, last year’s count of 35 sites held that record.

“That our National Night Out participation level continues to grow shows how committed our residents are to making their neighborhoods safer and more connected,” says Kelly Quiñones Miller, public information officer for the city of Sanford and program manager.

Even better: Sanford’s sites raised a combined 822 pounds of food for the Christians United Outreach Center of Lee County as part of Project 365, an NNO initiative that challenges participants to tackle a community need.

With more than 8, 400 families on file, the CUOC distributes an average 40,000 pounds of food to the Sanford and Lee County community each month – and that number continues to grow, says Teresa Dew Kelly, executive director of the CUOC. Food stability is crucial to a safe community, making food donations the perfect year-long challenge for NNO.

However, residents weren’t the only ones who got in the NNO and Project 365 spirit. First Apostolic Church raised $1,000 from local businesses. The church presented Kelly with a check during their NNO event at the Chatham Street Parking Lot. “We were excited to have this chance to give back to the community,” says George L. Akers III, student minister for the church and NNO organizer.

The NNO food donations will be used to feed 20 families of four. The monetary donation will be used to buy food at the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina at the rate of $0.18 per pound. “The donation should go far,” Kelly says.

For more information on National Night Out or starting a Neighborhood Watch program, contact Miller at 919-777-1133 or kelly.miller@sanfordnc.net. To support the CUOC, contact the center at 919-774-8485 or visit their website.

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