For many students, the idea of summer is an exciting time, but for some students the break means an increased chance of hunger. That's why Food Lion Feeds partnered with Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina and the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina to provide hundreds of thousands of meals to end hunger in a significant portion of our home state during two 'Sort-A-Rama' events last week.
On Thursday, May 21, energy was high as nearly 400 associates volunteered over 1,000 hours which resulted in more than 200,000 meals for children in significant portion of Food Lion's home state. Food Lion associates worked together with associates from other North Carolina employers to sort dried pinto beans and rice into two-pound bags for the food banks to distribute across their service areas. Volunteers were thrilled about the opportunity to fight hunger in their community first-hand.
"Events like Sort-A-Rama provide a meaningful way our associates can engage directly in helping to feed those in need in our community," said Geoff Waldau, senior vice president of fresh merchandising for Food Lion.
During the events, held in Raleigh, N.C., and Winston-Salem, N.C., volunteer teams had friendly competitions to see who could pack the most boxes the fastest. The Food Lion lion also made an appearance, motivating the volunteers throughout the morning. Volunteers also took "helpies," a selfie while helping, to capture the fun at the event.
"Sort-A-Rama is the largest volunteer event of its kind in the Triangle," said Peter Werbicki, President/CEO of the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina. "Food Lion volunteers are an integral part of every aspect of the event and contribute greatly to its success."
President Meg Ham, Vice President of Retail Operations, Gene Faller, Senior Vice President of Fresh Merchandising, Geoff Waldau, Vice President of Pricing, Paul LaCroix, Director of Operations for Winston-Salem, Dave Bellis, Director of EIS – Central Division, Demetrius Walker and Category Manager, Allen Chickering were among the leaders representing Food Lion in Winston-Salem.
Volunteers in Raleigh were led by Mid-Atlantic Division Vice President, Troy Leshko and Directors of Operations for the Mid-Atlantic Division, Mike Hall, Patricia Bednarz, Delony Spraggins, Khalid Pickering, Joe Panasci, Randy Deschaine and Kris Thornton.
With summer quickly approaching, this event comes at an important time. When school is out, many children go hungry because they do not receive meals from school. Through Food Lion Feeds, Food Lion continues to work to close the gap on child hunger, and hunger across all segments of our population. Whether in a Food Lion store, at Sort-A-Rama or in our community, we want families to know they can count on your local Food Lion team.