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Each year teens in Macon County commit to raising awareness for hunger by going 30 hours without food. The youth of First United Methodist Church lead the annual 30-Hour Famine event to not only raise awareness of hunger in our local community, but to shed light on the issue of world hunger.

This year, the youth of First United Methodist Church are joining with the town of Franklin to proclaim February Hunger Awareness Month to further their goal of reaching members of the community.

According to the proclamation, 842 million people - about one in eight - are hungry; and malnutrition causes nearly half of all deaths in children under five years old. Locally, 3,614 people were served by CareNet in 2014, with an average of seven visits each. There are 5,350 estimated food insecure people in Macon County and one in three Macon County children are considered to be food insecure.

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In honor of this month being National Can Food Month, what better way to give back to our community than a can food drive? Eckerd Living Center at Highlands-Cashiers Hospital is sponsoring a food drive.

A recent study by MANNA found that more than 104,000 people in the Food Bank's 16 county service area, including 38,000 children do not always know where they will find their next meal.

In all, 14.9 percent of the population, more than one in four children-in Western North Carolina struggles with hunger, according to research released June 12, 2013, by Feeding America, the nation's largest hunger-relief organization.

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Fanny Maud Besem, a Belgian doctoral student in aerospace engineering at Duke University, was the guest of honor at a Zonta Club reception at the Macon County Airport Saturday.

Besem, center, was congratulated on her award of a $10,000 Zonta International Amelia Earhart Fellowship by area director Judy Barnes, left, and (not pictured) Franklin club president Debe Nowicki.

Established in 1938 to honor its pioneering member, the Amelia Earhart Fellowship is awarded annually to women pursuing Ph.D./doctoral degrees in aerospace-related sciences or engineering.

For more information about Zonta, see zonta.org or contact Peggy Milton at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or (828)349-4615.

Nancy Rathbone, executive director of the Franklin House (R) discussed the senior living services provided by the Franklin House, at the Franklin Kiwanis meeting Tuesday, Jan. 20.

Since Nov. 10, the Franklin House has provided three kinds of residential services: 1. Independent Living, 2. Assisted Living, and 3.

Memory Care (which is for residents with dementia or Alzheimer's disease). Franklin House provides a residence that is more like home. Families can come in and have meals with the residents.

“Good food, children, and pets are high on our list,” said Rathbone. “The residents can have private, semi-private, or mega suites,” said Rathbone.

Respite care is also available. The resident to staff ratio is eight to one.

Franklin House is the largest supplier of assisted living beds in North Carolina. With Rathbone is Beverly Barnette, president of Franklin Kiwanis.

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