Students, families benefit from Food Lion holiday campaign

Food Lion is doing its part to make sure local students and their families have food for the holidays.

As part of Food Lion’s Holidays without Hunger campaign, the Oakboro store collected 400 boxes of food designated for students at Stanly County Schools. Principals collected the boxes and met with Food Lion’s mascot Leo the Lion Thursday.

The boxes will likely be placed in the system’s backpack program and sent home with the students in time for the Christmas break.

Holidays Without Hunger is part of the Food Lion Feeds initiative aimed at curbing hunger during the Christmas season. Through the campaign, customers can purchase and donate a specially-marked Holidays Without Hunger food box for $5, while supplies last, or make a cash donation at checkout. The campaign, which began in November, will run through Dec. 17.

The Oakboro location already donated 100 boxes to the 118th Air Support Operations Squadron in New London and VFW Post 6365 in Locust.

Each box contains a can of green beans, spaghetti noodles and sauce, mac and cheese, chicken and rice and can feed a family of five, said Tim Frick, manager of the Food Lion store in Oakboro.

“I think it’s great that people in Stanly County are buying the boxes for people in Stanly County,” Oakboro Customer Service Manager Kasey Mareth said. “So it’s like they’re helping their neighbors.”

One in eight people struggle with hunger in the United States and one in six children face hunger every day, according to Food Lion’s website.

Food Lion, which is based in Salisbury and has more than 1,000 stores across the Southeast and MidAtlantic, has already donated more than 500 million meals to families and it plans to donate 1.5 billion meals by 2025.

“It means everything to us,” Locust Elementary Principal Devron Furr said about receiving the boxes. “It’s the season of giving and for a lot of our families…this is going to help with their Christmas and help them with the holiday season.”