FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- The Second Harvest Food Bank of Southeast North Carolina is working to make sure nobody goes hungry this Thanksgiving.
For the third year in a row, the food bank organized a drive-thru food giveaway. This year they distributed approximately 1,500 boxes of fresh produce to those in need.
Increased need caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and unemployment caused long lines at Crown Coliseum.
"Even before COVID, we had more than 164,000 living in poverty in southeastern North Carolina," Second Harvest Food Bank Director David Griffin said. "We've seen a 40 percent increase with people struggling to provide food for their kids...with them being out of work and kids virtual learning; things of that nature."
That increased need is also why it's more important than ever to donate to your local food bank. This year the ABC11 Together Food Drive is going virtual because of the pandemic.
But that's not slowing down our efforts. We're looking to provide 1.5 million meals by Dec. 9. So we need your help.
Cumberland County deputies helped direct traffic while volunteers from the National Guard and Restoration Place Church stepped in to help with anything else the food bank needed.
"It's really a tremendous personal satisfaction for each of our soldiers out here. We signed up no only to serve during wartime but to serve our communities as a Guardsman, so it's a tremendous honor to fulfil that duty," NC National Guard Chief Warrant Officer Brad Foley said.
Those receiving the food, like Mandee Faulkner, said the giveaway makes a huge difference.
"It takes off a big burden because without this there wouldn't be what you would call a 'Thanksgiving' dinner for me and my kids," Faulkner said.