by: Erica Bryant Updated:
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - People across 19 counties in the Carolinas are counting on food they desperately need.
Second Harvest Food Bank supplies everything to hundreds of shelters and soup kitchens thanks to donations.
The Church of God Shalom Adonai transforms into a food pantry for several hours each week and the line stretches out of the door.
“They will actually stand there for hours and wait for the food and that just shows they depend on it,” volunteer Nallely Mejia said.
She said regardless of income no one is turned away.
“Right now, we have people with so many hospital bills and kids at home. And let’s say one parent doesn't earn enough -- so without the food, they would not be able to make it.”
About 500,000 people in the area are struggling to make it, including 40,000 senior citizens and 170,000 children, according to Second Harvest Food Bank.
Executive Director Kay Carter said the magnitude of the problem is shocking and many families that never had to ask for help before are now finding themselves in crisis.
“It’s not just people who are very poor, it’s middle class people now who've lost a job -- their hours have been reduced,” Carter said.
Second Harvest Food Bank supplies the food pantry and 500 other soup kitchens, shelters and low-income day cares with 40 million pounds of grocery items a year.
“If you're buying a box of cereal for your family, donate a second box,” Carter said. “Everything we collect will go to help someone right away.”
Channel 9's Summer Food Drive starts Monday.
From June 16 to the 20, anyone can drop off non-perishable food for people and pets at any local Showmars or Ashley Furniture Homestore.
For a complete list of drop-off locations, click here.