One day left to help hungry families through the holidays

ABC11 will be at locations throughout the Triangle and Fayetteville to collect food for families in need.
December 10, 2013 2:58:04 PM PST
The annual Heart of Carolina Food Drive is ending Wednesday. The goal is to collect six million pounds of food to get families through the holidays and beyond.

The two-and-a-half week effort is huge for the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina and Second Harvest Food Bank of Southeast North Carolina, since they get a big chunk of donations during this time of year.

ABC11 is a proud sponsor along with Kroger, CenturyLink, and the Law Office of D. Hardison Wood.

Luckily, the Heart Of Carolina 27th Annual Food Drive is going well," said Christy Simmons with Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina. "We still have a ways to go, however, before Wednesday."

The drive got off to a great start with ABC11's parent company Disney donating $30,000.

Organizers say the need is great. Many are struggling, so even a small donation - as little as $1 - helps.

"For the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina, we are so fortunate that we can still do a lot with a dollar," Simmons said. "We're very fortunate and blessed in that way that we can take a dollar and provide five meals."

In addition to cash, the food banks are also looking for staples like canned veggies, peanut butter, canned tuna, and other non-perishable food that will then be distributed to partner agencies that give the food to needy individuals - many of whom are children.

Click here for more information on what's needed and drop-off locations

"Please dig deep. You don't know how many of your neighbors are in food deprivation," said Ann Long with South River Community Church.

The face of hunger in North Carolina has definitely changed in 2013. Budget cuts and the new N.C. Fast program are just some of the things that have made a big impact on people's lives.

"And it's not just the individuals that are at or below poverty but it's the working poor," said Ron Pringle, Director of Second Harvest Food Bank.

One in five children go hungry in North Carolina, 170,000 North Carolinians receive emergency food assistance every week, and 28 percent of the state's food pantries have to turn people away because they don't have enough food.

That is where you and the Heart of Carolina Food Drive can make a difference.

"This is an opportunity to restock our shelves, so that way we're able to give that last push to reach as many families as we can before the upcoming holiday season," said Pringle.

Just one or two cans from all our ABC11 viewers really make a difference for not only people but their pets as well.

"We are collecting pet food so that we can offer that to our clients because when our families take a hit, financially, for the working poor, the pets suffer as well," said Pringle.

The drive wraps up December 11 with a massive last-day effort at several Kroger stores across the area. ABC11 will be at drive-through locations in five different places.

Please give what you can and help us make this year's drive a success.

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