Channel 9's summer food drive helps feed families in need

By: John Paul

Updated:

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - School ends Thursday for most districts in the area. It can be stressful for many struggling families who must provide meals their children get at school.

PHOTOS: 9 Food Drive collection day at WSOC-TV studios

Childhood hunger goes up in the summer, which is the reason for Channel 9’s summer food drive going on now.

For 12 years, Hattie McNealy has run the Care to Share Outreach Center and Food Pantry in Charlotte.

It's a small operation that serves a giant need.

Each month, she provides food for 1,800 people who otherwise might go hungry.

“A lot of people are not able to pay their doctor bills, they have problems even getting their medicine, they don't have jobs,” McNealy said.

McNealy, who spent 29 years as a teacher’s aide for Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools, doesn't get paid for this work.

She --- with everyone else at the center -- is a volunteer, donating their time to help the neediest of their community, like Betty Owens,  whose daughter and two granddaughters live with her.

“This helps out because if it wasn't, sometimes we just wouldn't have what we need,” Owens said.

McNealy said her mission is to help feed as many people as she can. She just needs the community to help make that happen.

“And that gives me great joy, when I can see people being fed,” McNealy said. “And I'm able to give them food through our Second Harvest program.”

The agency gets almost all of its food from Second Harvest Food Bank as do 650 other agencies in the area.

Help stock shelves at Second Harvest. Channel 9’s Special Collection is from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday at WSOC-TV on North Tryon Street.

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