Newton, NC – Eastern Catawba Cooperative Christian Ministry, Inc. (ECCCM) announced today they will be expanding their food assistance programs through the Charlie Bunn Food Pantry to include individuals living throughout all of Catawba County. The new expanded service will now be available to those living in the Hickory zip codes of 28601 and 28602. “We know this will be a message of hope and relief for those worried about how they will feed their families through the holiday season,” said Kristal Manning, Executive Director.Newton’s ECCCM Expands Food Assistance

ECCCM is increasing their efforts to ensure the pantry is well stocked to meet this new need by working closely with Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina, their community partners, and their generous donors. “Food assistance over the past few months has been on the rise due to the increase in food cost in our grocery stores,” said Manning. “So far this year, ECCCM has assisted 1,376 households which included 3,241 individuals with food assistance. In 2021, we distributed 1.5 million pounds of food through the Charlie Bunn Food Pantry, and this year’s total is expected to surpass that amount.”

Food is not the only service ECCCM offers to the whole county. ECCCM is the sole contractor for the Catawba County Department of Social Services Energy Programs and the General Assistance Program. In addition to these services, ECCCM also provides the Crisis Assistance Coaching Program to everyone in Catawba County to help teach strong financial literacy skills.

“We are already receiving phone calls from members of the community asking how to receive services and how to make donations to support the expansion,” said Manning. “To apply for food assistance through ECCCM, individuals living in Catawba County may apply online at or in person at our office located at 245 East N Street in Newton. Those that would like to financially support our new expansion of services during this holiday season may give online at or may drop off food donations Monday through Thursday between 8:30 am – 4:30 pm at the Charlie Bunn Food Pantry located at 245 East N Street in Newton. It is our mission to remain a stable hand up for our neighbors in Catawba County, and we are grateful for all those who make this possible, especially during the holidays.”