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BCO is there to help those in need

By Alan Hodge

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The Belmont Community Organization (BCO) has been  helping folks in times of need since 1956 with clothes, food, and utility bill payments. Now, the BCO is once again on the front lines of assisting people whose lives have been disrupted by the COVID-19 crisis.

BCO executive director Paula Wilkerson talked about the situation.

“Food is the biggest demand we have,” she said. “Right now, the demand for food is increasing just slightly, but in a month or so we will see a lot more need as people’s pantries begin to run out.”

The BCO is in need of food donations.

“We aren’t able to send our volunteers to the Second 

Harvest Food Bank or Aldis to get food,” Wilkerson said. “However, local churches, the Rotary Club, and even neighborhood groups are having food drives and bringing it to us. The people in Belmont are really stepping up. This is a great community.”

Utility bill payments are another way the BCO helps its clients. However, with companies like Duke Energy putting “cutoff” notices on hold, Wilkerson cautions BCO clients and others against a false sense of security.

“The amount of the bills will still keep accruing,” she said. “Clients who are eligible and need our help with utility payments should still bring their bills in.”

The BCO is working hard to make sure everyone who needs help can get it.

“The client application form only takes a few minutes to fill out,” Wilkerson said. “The BCO will do everything in our power to help people who need it.”

The BCO is located at 91 E. Catawba St., Belmont. Right now, the main warehouse is closed, but people are still able to pick up food and leave utility bills at the door. Donations of food are also being accepted on the dock. Clients application forms are also available. To arrange food pickup and drop off, leave a utility bill, or apply, call 704-825-4526 to make arrangements.