In 2011, A Touch of the Father’s Love, Inc (ATOFL), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization was founded. April Baker started ATOFL with a motivation to alleviate food insecurity in Nash County. Baker would also bring the mission to the surrounding areas of Edgecomb, Halifax and Wilson. Through the help of generous funders supporting the operation, ATOFL has grown from a small-town food assistance program in Battleboro to the flourishing multi-faceted operation that it is today in Momeyer, NC.
Baker operates this amazing ministry with the help of dedicated volunteers and board members. In fact, our CloudWyze team has volunteered here twice already! We are so excited to share the many ways this organization is touching their community.
The History of ATOFL
Nash County natives, you probably recognize the building where ATOFL is located now, which is the former Bass Brothers General Merchandise. This building is a pillar of the Momeyer community and has a rich history serving Nash County.
In 1905, Sidney Bass embarked on a remarkable journey by establishing a merchant business at his family’s homestead. Their family business quickly grew to become a one-stop shop for groceries, farm supplies, hardware, and many other essentials. When Sidney succumbed to a heart attack in 1954, his children took over the business. They went on to build the iconic “Bass Brothers General Merchandise” store in 1965 that still stands today.
ATOFL purchased the former Bass Brothers building in 2022 with support from Food Lion Feeds, a state grant, and a generous private loan from a special individual. It’s this location the organization now calls home.
Baker has done a fabulous job of honoring the Bass family legacy by displaying many of the original photos and antique pieces throughout the store. Be sure to check out the original cash register when you visit (it still works!).
Did you know that almost 20% of Nash County citizens are food insecure? Baker and her team certainly do!
As the primary function of ATOFL ministry, the food assistance program serves individuals in need. This includes single-parent families with children, senior citizens, active military, veterans, and even pets who need assistance with food. They also supply grocery items to other organizations in need of help with their own food assistance programs! ATOFL’s grocery store provides a wide range of necessities including produce, meats, dairy, bread, desserts, toiletries, and pet food.
Much of their food supply is generously sourced through their partnerships in the community. This includes the Food Bank of Central & Eastern NC, local grocery stores and local businesses. They prioritize their promise to ensure that they have a wide variety of nutritious options available. For example, Braswell Farms donates around 300 dozen eggs a week!
Not to be confused with the grocery store, the marketplace at ATOFL is a unique shopping experience that offers so much more than just name-brand products at a great price. It’s a place where customers can truly connect with the local community and support small businesses.
Step inside and you’ll find shelves filled with more than simply household essentials. Shoppers can also shop from a wide variety of locally sourced goods including farm-fresh eggs, honey, jams, salsa, homemade goods, and locally grown vegetables. Every purchase is a step toward a stronger, more connected community!
The coffee shop Baker has built is the definition of charming! She has created a cozy coffee shop and honored the legacy of the Bass Brothers. If you look closely you can see she has decorated it with items from the original store. The space really encourages connection as a gathering space for the entire local community.
Customers are beckoned to stop in and have a coffee or tea, chat with a friend, and enjoy the rich history of Nash County. For example, every Friday morning local veterans enjoy coffee and fellowship with one another in this wonderful space. Next year, Baker says she’s looking forward to adding smoothies and iced coffee to the menu!
General Merchandise & Resale Store
In addition to meeting the food insecurity needs of Nash County, ATOFL houses a general merchandise store offering gently used clothes, shoes, furniture, toys, brand-new products, and more!
Operated on 100% donations, this store has become a treasure trove for locals in search of affordable and unique items. Every purchase made at the boutique goes toward supporting ATOFL’s mission of alleviating food insecurity in the community. You can find amazing deals and add unique pieces to your wardrobe or home, while making a positive impact on the lives of those in need.
Looking to the Future
There is no doubt that a bright future lies ahead for A Touch of the Father’s Love Ministry. When asked about the upcoming plans of her Ministry, Baker has many amazing ideas.
Baker would love to expand the marketplace section at ATOFL with even more local artisan products and North Carolina produce.
Garden and Orchard
In an effort to be more self-sustaining and provide whole food options, Baker hopes to create a thriving garden space and orchard that can serve the grocery store.
Originally the butcher section of the original supermarket, April wishes to completely renovate this butcher section of the original supermarket to house a state-of-the-art commercial kitchen where trained chefs can lead healthy cooking classes for kids and adults, preserving and canning workshops, and more for the local community.
The Hay Barn
If you’re familiar with this part of Nash County, you might have seen the Hay Barn, the oldest building on the property. Baker has big dreams for this building too, turning it into a future gathering space and small concert space for local musicians.
Baker plans to acquire a box truck that can act as a Mobile Market. This truck can visit surrounding neighborhoods and schools, providing nutritious local food to families and individuals in need.
Support A Touch of the Father’s Love Today
As a non-profit organization, ATOFL relies solely on the generosity of donors and grant funding to continue its vital work in the community.
While volunteering is a fantastic way to support the organization, another meaningful way to get involved is through financing. By making a financial contribution, you can directly impact the lives of individuals and families in need, helping to alleviate food insecurity and provide essential resources.
Additionally, if you are a local business that wants to get involved in financially supporting this growing non-profit ministry, please reach out to April directly.
At CloudWyze, we believe our mission to empower communities must go beyond installing high-speed internet service. This is why we support local organizations like ATOTFL. So, we are helping to bridge the digital divide by providing high-speed internet in Nash County. This basic service opens new avenues for growth and education. If you’re a Nash County resident looking for a born and bred North Carolina internet provider, CloudWyze may be the perfect choice for you.
Fill out the contact form below and a member of our team will reach out with what internet packages are available at your address.