Anonymous Raeford Korean War veteran purchases 15,500 meals for Food Lion hunger relief effort

ABC11 Together highlights the strength of the human spirit, good deeds, community needs, and how our viewers can help
RAEFORD, N.C. (WTVD) -- Imagine going days or weeks without eating much.

That's a memory etched in one Raeford veteran's mind, he knows what it's like to go hungry and that's why this is an effort he had to be a part of.

It was a late Monday morning in Food Lion along Fayetteville Road; business was calm and steady, but about to pick up after a 91-year-old Korean War veteran walked in heading straight for the customer service counter.

"He came in with two checks, one for $500 for 100 meals and a $1,500 cash donation for the Food Lion Holidays Without Hunger program, which is the largest single donation by a customer in the history of the program," said store manager Charles Campbell.

Campbell was overwhelmed at his compassion and willingness to give. He asked the Army veteran what drove him to contribute to this cause in such a big way. During his Korean War tour, he became a prisoner of war, which led to him being captured and fed very little for more than two years.

"He told me about his time as a POW (Prisoner of War). He dropped significant weight down to 90 pounds. He knew what it was like to be hungry and he wanted to help in any way possible," said Campbell.

The war veteran isn't alone contributing to the war on hunger, Food Lion in Raeford has sold over 1,300 holidays without hunger boxes so far. With 23 stores in the Fayetteville region selling nearly 13,000 boxes. Officials say that's the equivalent of nearly 60,000 meals.

As for this anonymous Korean War veteran, he wanted no publicity. If you grocery shop at this particular store, chances are you might walk right past him.

"He didn't want any publicity. Didn't want to be recognized. I think we could all learn from that. It's about being able to help someone out of the kindness of your heart," said Campbell. " He lives here locally and shops our store on a regular basis, which is outstanding."

RELATED: ABC11 Together Annual Food Drive goes virtual, providing service safely: Here's how to donate
Copyright © 2021 WTVD-TV. All Rights Reserved.