• Food drive helps people in Charlotte community


    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Having food in her cabinets is not something Renee Culver takes lightly.

    Most of what she stocks now wouldn't be there if she had to buy it herself because these days, there just isn't much money for food, or anything else.

    "You go from where you know you can go and get food every week to all of a sudden, you don't have any money to get gas, much less food," she said.

    It wasn't always this way.

    Until about 10 years ago, Culver was an administrator over the math department at UNC-Charlotte.

    When she developed a bone disease, everything fell apart. After multiple surgeries and two artificial hips, she can no longer work full time.

    At one point, she was living in her car.

    "It's emotional," Culver said. "You never know when you're going to be put in a position when you're fine, and a week later you're not."

    Culver estimates her medications are a $1,000 a month. Her cholesterol medicine alone is $300.

    Despite her circumstances, she's hopeful things will get better and she's grateful for the food pantry.

    "They give you fresh fruit, they give you beans, they give you rice," Culver said. "And this way I know I've got dinner tonight."

    It's one very important thing she doesn't have to worry about.

    "I don't know what I would have done without 'em," she said.

    That food pantry at Cooperative Christian Ministry gets many of its items from Second Harvest Food Bank.

    On Wednesday, Second Harvest will be at Channel 9 to accept donations. The summer food drive will collect nonperishable food for people and pets from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. at the WSOC-TV studios, 1901 N. Tryon St.

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