'If I'm able to do it, why not?': Fayetteville man looks to fill hunger gap left by canceled Thanksgiving meal event

ABC11 Together highlights the strength of the human spirit, good deeds, community needs, and how our viewers can help
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- When Carl Pringle heard that "Operation Turkey" was canceled because of COVID-19, he knew he had to do more for his yearly event.

The longtime Fayetteville local is a staple to the community and member of the "1 Big Family," a collection of different clubs and individuals looking to make a difference in the Sandhills.

On top of feeding people on a monthly basis, Pringle helps put together his yearly "We Are 1 Big Family Thanksgiving Dinner." When the news broke about "Operation Turkey," which serves up to 15,000 people in the region, Pringle scrambled to gather more volunteers and food.

"My thing is nobody goes hungry today, if we can help it," Pringle said.

The Epicenter Church provided the group with more food and resources, allowing them to expand their outreach.

Pringle said they've been making and serving meals since the start of the week. "We were a part of that thousand feeding in Spring Lake, the 400 plus in Lumberton."

'It was a lot': Fayetteville church serves more than 5,000 meals to community members, first responders ahead of holidays

On Thursday, hundreds of volunteers packed up freshly made food and delivered to more than seven different locations, including spots where the homeless community can be found.

Casey Covington's been a part of the yearly 1 Big Family event. He told ABC11 they hope to serve more than 3,000 people when it's all said and done.

"We can still do the social distance, we still use hand sanitizer, masks, everything. So, as long as people are getting fed, that's all that matters," Covington said.

Fayetteville Police Chief Gina Hawkins also showed her support on Thanksgiving, making a stop at Ponderosa Shopping Center, where the group spent the week cooking food and distributing to the public.

Pringle said it's about making sure no one goes hungry during the holidays. "Why not? That's my motto. I mean, I always say, if you don't see it, be it. So, if I'm able to do it, why not do it."

Fayetteville fraternity gifts 72 families with Thanksgiving meals ahead of holiday
Copyright © 2021 WTVD-TV. All Rights Reserved.