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        Jamerus Payton
Family Foundation, Inc.


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"In order for people to progress, we must properly nourish their souls, bodies and mind. God’s word will nourish the soul. Good food will nourish the body. Good books will nourish the mind."-Jamerus Payton

The Jamerus Payton Family Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that is on a mission to erase food insecurity, illiteracy and poverty within Eastern North Carolina (ENC) families.

ENC is the region encompassing the eastern tier of North Carolina. It is known geographically as the state's Coastal Plain region. Primary subregions of ENC include the Sandhills, the Lower Cape Fear (Wilmington Area), the Crystal Coast, the Inner Banks and the Outer Banks. It is composed of the 41 most eastern counties in the state.

A report published by Joanne Scharer entitled, "How Does the East Compare to the Rest of North Carolina?" stated that at 17.6 percent, the average poverty rate for eastern counties greatly exceeds the North Carolina average of 12.6 percent and the U.S. average of 13.3 percent. astern North Carolina also lags the state as a whole in terms of education. As a region, the East has the lowest levels of literacy in the state.

In ENC, one in five adults is illiterate. That is according to numbers from the National Assessment of Adult Literacy. North Carolina's state average is about one in seven.

According to NCGrowth, unemployment and poverty rates remain among the highest in the state. The high poverty rates coupled with a persistent lack of job growth has also suppressed population growth in many parts of the region, exacerbating an already-low population density. 


In ENC our competitive advantage are our people. It is our vision to have one mini pantry that will consist of food and books in each ENC county. By combating the issues of food insecurity, illiteracy and poverty, we can help boost the local economy by creating healthier and stronger East Carolinians. By doing so, this will help create new and existing sustainable opportunities that will continue to help increase and provide better resources in the region.

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