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FAQ (frequently asked questions)

Our Mission

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Mother Hubbard's Cupboard is a non-profit, non-faith-based, all-volunteer organization, established in 1985. It serves those who are hungry in the Wilmington area through distribution of emergency food. This service is provided by volunteers from churches, synagogues, clubs, fraternities, and various youth, and adult service organizations in the Wilmington area, without regard to race or religion and with care to preserve the dignity of the individuals being served.

What kinds of food do Clients receive from the Cupboard and how often

  • Once a month, any needy individual or family may come to Mother Hubbard's Cupboard to receive a 3-5 day supply of groceries (meant to be emergency food). People without stoves receive a smaller amount of food and are served weekly. Those requesting food show identification and self-declare their need. Clients include local people who are in need of assistance. Special Services are available to address toiletry, diabetic, elderly, and infant needs.

  • Cupboard Clients generally receive both shelf-stable and frozen groceries. A portion of the food provided to Clients comes from Community donations, and the remainder comes from a Federal Government Program called The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), which is a part of the US Department of Agriculture, funded by the Farm Bill.

Where is Mother Hubbard's Cupboard Located

  • The Cupboard is located at 315 Redcross St. in downtown Wilmington, NC. See the clickable map below.

How often can a Client come to the Cupboard

  • Most Clients can come to the Cupboard to get food once per calendar month. That means that a Client, who came to the Cupboard on August 31, could officially come again the very next day on September 1. Of course, in that case the Client could not come again until Oct.1.

  • One exception is that people without stoves to cook on can come to the Cupboard once per calendar week, but get a reduced amount of food on each visit.

What Client documentation is needed to receive food from the Cupboard

  • No special Agency Referrals are required to receive food at Mother Hubbard's Cupboard. A Client's need is self-declared.

  • The first time that the Cupboard provides food for a person (either a Head of Household or a family member) we would like to see some identification for that person. For example, if your initial visit to the Cupboard is to get food for you and your child, we would like to see ID for both you and your child.

  • When you come to the Cupboard for subsequent visits, and you tell us that your household has not changed, we only ask to see ID for you. Typical identification is a photo ID such as a driver's license or other permanent ID. Photocopies of ID will not be accepted.

  • The TEFAP Program requires that the client fill out a short application. An ID is not required to receive TEFAP food. USDA is an equal opportunity employer and provider.

Where should Cupboard Clients park

  • There is parking on the 3rd St. side of the 315 Redcross St. Location. See the above map.

When is the Cupboard open

  • Mother Hubbard's Cupboard is open to Clients from 1:00 to 3:00 PM on Mon., Tues., Wed., Fri., and Sat. each week year around.

  • The Cupboard is closed on essentially the same major holidays as New Hanover County Schools. Any such holiday closings are clearly announced by a sign of the Cupboard front door several days in advance of the holiday.

When can I bring donated food to the Cupboard and what should I bring

  • See the DONATE section above

How can I volunteer


  • Unfortunately, the Cupboard has no Public Restrooms. However, Public Restrooms are available at the Main Branch of the New Hanover County Public Library on 2nd St. and at Service Stations near the Cupboard.