DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – People have flocked to get groceries and backup supplies ahead of expected ice, snow and sleet Sunday, but for those who can’t afford an extra trip to the store, or even a place to sleep, winter weather poses an even greater threat.
Edgar Vergara, the pastor for La Semilla ministry, said during a food distribution drive in Durham that he’s seen twice the number of families seeking food than usual.
“In normal times you go to the supermarket and you stock up and the pandemic, with the adverse effect of the pandemic, people don’t have that option,” Vergara said.
The Durham Rescue Mission is also all-hands on deck, setting up for hundreds of guests.
“Our numbers always swell on a night like tonight,” Durham Rescue Mission CEO Rob Tart said. “There’s going to be people coming in maybe even all night long.”
They’re also ready to take in people who also may lose power over the coming days.
“We always have one more bed and we’re not going to turn anybody away if we can help it,” Tart said.
Still, surging COVID cases add another risk this weekend as more people look for shelter.
“We’re trying to test everybody here for COVID so anybody that’s here tonight — at least during the time that we’re doing testing — will be tested for COVID,” Tart said.