Charlotte man donates stimulus check to food bank

Sam Hatcher said he couldn't sit idly on the sidelines after watching a news report about the long lines of people visiting food pantries for food assistance.

“It just got me thinking. I’m not worried about where my next meal is coming from and there are so many people that are,” Hatcher said.

So when Hatcher received his $1,200 stimulus check, he decided that there were others who needed it more than he did.

“I decided to put that money toward the fight against COVID-19 by doing something to ease the burden of those who have run out of options,” Hatcher said.

He began researching area organizations that distribute food to those in need until his wife suggested Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina.

“I chose Second Harvest as the beneficiary because they have an outstanding existing infrastructure for food distribution that includes over 800 partner nonprofit agencies in 24 surrounding counties,” Hatcher said.

Along with his $1,200 donation, Hatcher set up a fundraising team to allow others to join him in his efforts.

“I know there are other people out there who got this money that realized they don’t really need it to survive that might be willing to do something similar,” Hatcher said. “So I just started a fundraiser for anybody that had the urge and with the hopes that it would just encourage people to do that.”

Within the next 30 days, Second Harvest will be packing tens of thousands of food boxes that will be distributed by over 800 agencies to families in need across 24 counties.

For the past 15 years, WSOC-TV and Second Harvest have partnered to end area hunger through the 9 Food Drive. One unforeseen effect of the coronavirus has been significant changes to how food donations can be collected and distributed.

This year, the 9 Food Drive campaign is transitioning to a virtual food drive and will only accept online monetary donations. Funds donated will help the food bank purchase staple grocery items to continue packaging food boxes.

These boxes will help feed families whose children are missing school meals, seniors being asked to stay safely in their homes, those in need of food who are quarantined and employees in our community being affected by decreases in work hours. The number of struggling families continues to increase, along with their need for food.

Second Harvest has a donation program in place with different levels of giving. Donors can equate their monetary donation to what can be supplied by the food bank.

Here are some of the giving levels:

  • Donating $7 will help provide a food backpack for children missing school meals.
  • Donating $13 will help provide a food box of 12 to 13 healthy staple items.
  • Donating $25 will help provide a seven-day nutritionally balanced food box.

Food boxes are filled with a variety of items such as peanut butter, cereal, fruit and vegetables. Each box varies, depending on what items the food bank can purchase.