At Rock Hill Church in the Shiloh Community, a monthly Pop-Up Market can be a godsend to folks in need.
It’s held in Shiloh on the third Wednesday of every month.
“We are so thankful you have opened up doors,” News 13 heard as a group took a moment of prayer. “Because if it wasn’t for you, we wouldn’t have anything, Father God.”
Then it was time for the shopping spree that fills a huge void. The market includes fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, and household products.
“Yeah, get you a box!” said Bobbette Mays, the lead volunteer.
Mays is the driving force behind the market and News 13’s Person of the Week.
There are Pop-Up Markets in eight low-income communities all over Buncombe County. It’s also an outlet for information about everything from Medicaid to voter registration.
“Seeing their faces when they come in, I mean, they’re always so grateful,” she said. “We’re doing this for the community. There’s a need. We have a lot of people that come to our Pop Ups that are seniors.”
“You don’t have to buy as much, you can get it here!” said Joan Martinez, who’s on a fixed income.
“By the time they pay taxes, and then they have to pay doctor bills, and then they pay for medications, the last thing they do is to think about healthy food,” Mays explained.
Mays starts her day at Manna Food Bank.
“She goes out and gets the food for us, brings it back, sets it all up,” Martinez explained was she filled a bag with food.
“I take care of y’all, don’t I?” Mays replied.
Mays and her team of volunteers are emotionally invested in the project, especially because the people they help aren’t strangers.
They’re friends and neighbors she’s known for decades.
“I truly believe that you only keep what you give away,” Mays said. “And I believe the service we provide is exciting.”