Food Lion knows the need is great for many during the holiday season, and as part of our continued "Holidays Without Hunger" campaign efforts this holiday season, Food Lion was proud to lead various donation events across its operating area during "12 Days of Giving," in which our associates volunteered more than 1,000 service hours to bring holiday cheer to those facing hunger from Dec. 8 through Dec. 23.
During these "12 Days of Giving," Food Lion worked to fight holiday hunger by participating in 19 various donation events, providing more than 100,000 million meals to our neighbors in need while furthering Food Lion Feeds' mission to achieve our goal of providing 500 million meals to hungry families by the year 2020.
Below we've recapped our 12 Days of Giving events and the joy we felt, and spread, while giving back to our friends and neighbors one meal at a time.
Giving Back is The Reason For The Holiday Season – Newport News, Va.
Food Lion Associates and Woodside High School Students Pack Holiday Meals for Those in Need
During the holidays it is always better to give than to receive, and this year the senior class at Woodside High School wanted to give the gift of a holiday meal to those in need.
Throughout the school year, Woodside's students raised money to purchase bags, toiletries and food to help 80 individuals throughout the Newport News, Va., area. But, when their sponsor fell through, they found they were in need of additional help, and reached out to Food Lion.
So, to kick off the grocer's "12 Days of Giving" initiative, Food Lion donated non-perishable food items including canned vegetables, macaroni and cheese and peanut butter as well as toiletry items and reusable bags.
On Dec. 8, Woodside students and Food Lion associates worked together to pack the bags in record time.
"We are super excited about this initiative, and we have been working very hard to raise money to help the homeless," said Samantha Reynolds, Woodside High School instructor. "I cannot thank Food Lion enough for all of their help and support. These students are so passionate and excited to help the homeless, and I do not think it would be possible without your help!"
At Food Lion, we believe no one should have to choose between dinner and rent, especially during the holiday season. That's why, from Dec. 8 until Dec. 23 Food Lion Feeds will work with 19 non-profit agencies and individuals throughout its company footprint to help end hunger in the towns and cities they serve.
Feeding Eastern North Carolina One Donation at a Time – Greenville, N.C., New Bern, N.C, Kinston, N.C., Jacksonville, N.C., and Morehead City, N.C.
Food Lion Partners with News Channel 12 to Provide 46,000 Meals
In the wake of Hurricane Matthew, residents in Greenville, N.C. and surrounding areas are still working to rebuild. While many families would normally be purchasing Christmas gifts and decorations, they find themselves struggling to make ends meet and purchase basic necessities.
To help combat this rising need, Food Lion partnered with WLTX-TV News Channel 12 to collect donations and raise awareness of the tough choices families are forced to make this holiday season, like purchasing groceries or gifts.
From Dec. 5 until Dec. 9 News Channel 12 held a live broadcast at participating Food Lion stores each day, including Greenville, N.C., New Bern, N.C., Kinston, N.C., Jacksonville, N.C., and Morehead City, N.C., all of which had been heavily impacted by the devastating hurricane.
The resulting support from the community was incredible! Children, seniors, families and community organizations all participated to provide non-perishable items and cash donations to benefit the Food Bank of Central and Eastern N.C.
On the last day of the food drive, Food Lion surprised the Food Bank with a donation totaling more than 13,000 meals. When all the donations were tallied, more than 46,000 meals were collected.
These donations were made as part of Food Lion's 12 Days of Giving initiative Dec. 8 until Dec. 23 to help end hunger in the towns and cities they serve.
Community Dinner in Buzz City Supports Locals in Need – Charlotte, N.C.
Charlotte Hornets Player Brian Roberts Partners with Food Lion to Provide 18,000 Meals
On Dec. 8, Food Lion Feeds supported a community dinner hosted by Charlotte Hornets player Brian Roberts and his wife, Jenna, and other members of the Hornets Home Team, which includes wives and mothers of Hornets players, coaches and executives.
To support the dinner, Food Lion donated turkeys, hams, side items and desserts for 300 guests.
The dinner was hosted at The Harvest Center of Charlotte, N.C., and benefitted Charlotte’s homeless neighbors and families in need with a food donation equivalent of more than 18,000 meals.
Third Grade Christmas Program at Oak Grove Elementary School – Durham, N.C.
Crowds gathered early on Thursday, Dec. 8 for the third grade Christmas program and dinner at Oak Grove Elementary School in Durham, N.C. And what was under the tree this year, but Food Lion!
Food Lion Feeds partnered with the Food Bank of Central and Eastern N.C., providing more than 31,000 meals for 250 families for the upcoming holidays.
"We are honored and excited to have Food Lion come to our school, this area has an extremely high rate for food insecurity," said Aisha Howard, Principal. "This food donation is a blessing for our families."
Local Food Pantry Receives Much-Needed Holiday Lift – Jamestown, S.C.
Food Lion Director of Operations Kenric Rivers and Store 1378 Store Manager presented a $3,500 check to Wesley Jehovah Food Pantry Dec. 12 in order to repair cosmetic building damages caused by Hurricane Matthew. This special donation will equate to 38,500 meals to help locals in need in the Jamestown, S.C., area.
'Santa Cam' Brings a Sleigh Full of Cheer to Local Children in Need – Charlotte, N.C.
Carolina Panthers Quarterback Gives Partners with Food Lion to Give Back
Food Lion Feeds partnered with the Cam Newton Foundation and Second Harvest Food Bank on Dec. 13 for the quarterback's "Santa Cam's Santa Sleigh" event, which included four stops across Charlotte, N.C., whose focus was helping to end hunger in our community. The first location was at Barringer Academic Center, where Food Lion and Newton partnered together to help launch the school's backpack program. Food Lion filled the backpacks full of food to help jumpstart the donation, and Cam provided a $30,000 donation to run the program for a year.
The second stop was at Silver Mount Emergency Food Pantry, where Food Lion donated the equivalent of over 100,000 meals, and Newton donated $15,000 worth of refrigerators.
The third stop was at the Bethlehem Center, where Food Lion donated bags full of fresh produce and $100 gift cards for each student and their family, and Newton donated a bag of games and treats.
Finally, the 4th stop was a surprise dinner for guests of A Child Place and a $500 Food Lion gift card, followed by a $200 shopping spree at Dick's Sporting Goods. Including the gift cards and product donations, this event donated the equivalent of over 300,000 meals to those in need in Charlotte, N.C.
Food Lion Donations Bring Back the Magic of Christmas Following Multiple Break-Ins – Charlotte, N.C.
Cosmopolitan Community Church suffered from a series of six break-ins over the course of two weeks, resulting in their TV, food and even gifts for children being stolen.
After hearing about the break-ins, Food Lion decided to step up and donate $1,000 in gift cards, the equivalent of 11,000 meals, to help them recover. Local Store 635 Manager Johan Vandepoll was on hand to present the check, along with local media.
Pastor Irma Gardner was moved to tears.
"Thank you so much for this gift," said Gardner. "Your generosity allows us to help more in need, and I just thank God for your support."
Hope for the Holidays – White Sulphur Springs, W. Va.
Food Lion Repairs Pentecostal Holiness Food Pantry's Delivery Van
The hills in White Sulphur Springs, W. Va., create a hardship on the delivery van for Pentecostal Holiness Food Pantry. Their van struggled to make it up larger hills, which was preventing some of their most needy residents from receiving food. However, the problem has been remedied due to quick action from Food Lion, who provided the food pantry with new enhancements to the van. These improvements will help the food pantry be more efficient and safer as they climb the hills to bring food to local residents.
As part of the Food Lion's 12 Days giving, a check for $2,500 was presented to cover the repairs. On Dec. 14, Food Lion Store manager, Howard Fraley presented the check for the repairs, as well as a $500 Food Lion gift card for the pantry to purchase meat and other needed products for their clients during the holidays.
"We are so thankful for what Food Lion has done for us," food pantry representatives noted at the presentation. "Many in our community are still hurting after the devastating floods in June. We can now help more people than we ever thought possible. Thank you and your wonderful team of associates for caring about your community."
Food Lion Feeds and Project Santa Produce Holiday Baskets for Christmas Eve - Denton, N.C.
As a result of a Food Lion Feeds Charitable Foundation award, retail volunteers from Food Lion Director of Operations Kathryn Sowers' region worked to put together 140 baskets for Project Santa on Dec. 15. This generous food donation, which equates to 33,000 meals, was held safely until Christmas Eve when deliveries were made to help families have a hunger-free Christmas!
Four Local Elementary School Receive Backpacks of Goodness – Salisbury, N.C.
Food Lion Donates 70,000 Meals to Hometown Schools
Food Lion Feeds joined with Food Lion's Merchandise Department on Dec. 15 to pack backpacks full of goodness for more than 1,600 Salisbury students at four elementary schools located in its hometown of Salisbury, N.C., including Overton, Shive, Koontz, and Cleveland Elementaries.
Each bag included nutritious pantry staples to ensure students can focus on learning, not hunger, while they're at school, as well as some holiday treats. This donation was the equivalent of over 70,000 meals. Koontz Co-Principal Lori Marrero said that the event was “heartwarming."
"I'm overwhelmed by this level of generosity, added Marrero. "I’ve been a lot of places and I’ve never seen this outpouring of support from the community.”
Celebrating Teamwork by Giving Back – China Grove, N.C.
Food Lion Pricing Team Donates 25,000 Meals to Local Food Agency
Members of the Food Lion Pricing team partnered with Food Lion Feeds to pack 150 bags with a full Christmas meal, including turkey, sides, and dessert, for clients in need at the Main Street Mission in China Grove, N.C. on Dec. 16; a donation equivalent of 25,000 meals.
"At Food Lion, we truly value our connection to the communities we serve, and nowhere is that connection stronger than right here in Rowan County, said Paul LaCroix, Vice President of Pricing at Food Lion Pricing. "As my team members were deciding how we wanted to celebrate the holidays as a group, we knew we wanted to find a way to give back to those around us who may be going through a difficult time or otherwise in need this holiday season, and doing so through our organization's Food Lion Feeds hunger relief initiative was a perfect fit."
Main Street Mission does a tremendous job serving the community, and Food Lion is proud to join with them and provide this food to bring a little cheer to our neighbors in need this holiday season.
The Gift of Fresh Food Keeps on Giving – Salisbury, Md. 60,500 meals
Food Lion Provides Wicomico Middle School with Freezer for Food Pantry
At Wicomico Middle School in Salisbury, Md., 76 percent of families fall at or below the poverty line. The school does a lot to help the families and local communities by providing food regularly, but without a freezer to keep non-perishable foods, the school found it was unable to provide much-need fresh foods. After Dec. 16, thanks to Food Lion, this was no longer an issue.
Food Lion provided a freezer for the school's food pantry as part of our "12 Days of Giving" initiative to help make the holidays a little brighter for this community, enabling the pantry to provide fresh food on a now regular basis, a blessing for many. We also gave 100 families $50 gift cards.
Donna Hamlin, School Superintendent for the County attended and stated how pleased she was for the donation of the freezer and the gift cards. She was appreciative of Food Lion's generosity and commitment to the community.
"I'm just shocked we were awarded the freezer," said Pat Corkran, School Counselor. "We've been in dire need of a freezer and it will make significant improvement in our ability to help those in need."
Customer Pamela Nossick attended with her son James. Pamela a single Mom of two just lost her job due to a health issue. She said the bag of food and gift card will ensure her family has a better holiday.
Naomi Waters, a single Mom of five, also attended and was emotional and humbled by the generosity of Food Lion. She noted that with five children, the food and gift card was a real blessing at this time year.
Delivering Sow Much Goodness for the Holidays – Charlotte, N.C.
Food Lion Associates and Sow Much Pack and Deliver Healthy Alternatives for the Holidays
On the cold and rainy morning of Dec. 19, 11 associates and family members from Food Lion arrived at Sow Much Good, an urban farm located in West Charlotte, N.C., which provides low-income individuals and families access to healthy, home-grown food. The weather couldn't dampen their spirits as everyone jumped in to begin organizing and preparing the packing stations for the holiday bags. With holiday music and hot cider to keep everyone moving, he bags were packed in record time.
Throughout the summer and fall, Sow Much Good delivers community-supported agriculture [CSA] boxes of fresh food every week to low-income individuals and families. Therefore, it was a great surprise for the folks at Sow Much Good when they learned they were selected to be a part of Food Lion Feeds 12 Days of Giving initiative, to help end hunger in the towns and cities they serve.
Rachel Jackson from Sow Much Good explained that many of the recipients are home bound and don't normally see anyone during the day. "The holiday bags will be such a delight and surprise to these families," said Jackson.
With the bags all packed, Food Lion associates and staff from Sow Much Good packed up their cars and set out across the city to deliver 75 holiday bags. There were many smiles, laughs and hugs shared and we all returned home knowing we've done a small part to make a few families' holiday just a little bit brighter on this grey and cloudy day.
Catawba College Football Coach Partners With Food Lion Feeds for Christmas Meal Donation – Salisbury, N.C.
Food Lion Feeds partnered with Catawba College Football Coach Curtis Walker on Monday, Dec. 19 to donate 100 Christmas meals to Rowan County families in need. Each donated bag of food contained a turkey, side items, a drink and dessert.
Food Lion Director of Operations Joey Williams and store leadership from Salisbury, N.C., area locations packed the bags to make Christmas a little brighter for hungry families.
Food Lion Cooks Up Christmas Feast for Families Displaced by Hurricane Matthew – Fayetteville, N.C.
The evening of Monday, Dec. 19, at Hilltop House Restaurant in Fayetteville, N.C., was nothing short of special for nearly a dozen families hit hard by Hurricane Matthew. Food Lion partnered with the restaurant, typically closed on Mondays, as well as Second Harvest Food Bank of Southeastern North Carolina to host a five-star dinner for the families.
Food Lion President Meg Ham attended the event and shared her hopes for the families.
"We know you've been through a tough year and the hardships are not over," said Ham after dinner. "But we wanted to provide a holiday meal where you could relax and enjoy with your families, and have hope knowing your community cares and you are not alone."
Food Lion surprised each family with a $100 gift card following the meal and even handed out early Christmas presents.
"At first I was like wow, Christmas may not be the same," said Vanne Hoskins, Hurricane Matthew Survivor and mother of two boys. "But there are people that care, and I am happy."
"This was a time for them to just get out with their families and with their kids to be able to enjoy a nice meal out to just give them a little hope," added Ron Pringle of Second Harvest Food Bank of Eastern North Carolina.
Three is Better Than One – Kannapolis, N.C.
Food Lion Feeds Team Fills Food Pantry to Serve Three Local Elementary Schools in Need
They say luck comes in waves of three, and that was certainly true for Shady Brook Elementary, Harris Middle School and Early College High School when Food Lion made special donations to help them during the holidays.
"This food is a blessing for these three schools," said Jomari Torres, Human Research Core Medical Director at Shady Brook. "Each are in need of an on-site pantry for their backpack program; the trouble is, making space within the overcrowded schools was a problem."
To solve for this problem, Shady Brook found an area they then offered to share with the other two schools, leaving only the task of filling this multi-functional food pantry.
So, on Dec. 22 a team of 14 volunteers and vendor partners worked together to fill the pantry to make a big difference, not only this holiday season, but in the lives of the students who attend these three area schools.
Food Lion donated enough food to provide this pantry with 34,500 meals.
"I'm in awe of the amount of product Food Lion has donated," said Principal Will Gibson. "This should take care of the rest of the school year! We thank you so much."
"Smokey Mountain Santa and Mrs. Claus" – Canton, N.C.
Food Lion Feeds Partners With Local Santa and Mrs. Claus to Brighten the Holidays
Santa made his grocery list and checked it twice to help provide meals for children in need this holiday season.
For nearly 17 years, the "Smokey Mountain Santa and Mrs. Claus," Dennis and Deborah Reed, have looked for ways to make spirits bright for children, families and seniors throughout the Canton and Asheville, N.C., area.
For the second year, the Reeds partnered with Food Lion Feeds on Dec. 22 to giveaway holiday meals for 100 children and their families, complete with turkeys, vegetables and all the sides to make this holiday season the tastiest time of the year.
With help from local-area schools, Mr. and Mrs. Claus identified 100 children who are at-risk of hunger during the holiday season and worked with Food Lion to provide the meals.
“It’s been great to see the kids light up,” Mrs. Claus said.
Food Lion and the Clauses believe no one should have to choose between dinner and rent – especially during the holiday season. That's why, from Dec. 8 until Dec. 23 Food Lion Feeds worked with 19 non-profit agencies throughout its company footprint to help end hunger in the towns and cities they serve.