6,000 free meals will be given to those in need at Charlotte Motor Speedway

Free, open to the public Thursday at the speedway

6,000 free meals will be given to those in need at Charlotte Motor Speedway

CONCORD, N.C. — Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, the Charlotte Motor Speedway and the Latin American Chamber of Commerce of Charlotte (LACCC) are teaming up to provide meals to those in need within the Charlotte community.

These organizations will be hosting a drive-thru meal distribution event, as part of LACCC’s Community Kitchen Program, at the Charlotte Motor Speedway on Thursday from 4:30 p.m until 8:30 p.m. They plan to give away 6,000 hot meals from 25 local Latin restaurants to those in need.

The drive-thru event is free and open to the public, and recipients don’t even have to get out of their cars. Event attendees must enter through the speedway entrance at 5555 Concord Pkwy South.

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>> For more information on the event, visit LACCC’s website. To find out how Blue Cross NC is supporting communities during the COVID-19 pandemic, click here.

The event at the speedway will not only feed people in our community but will also provide a boost for some local restaurants. The event is aimed to help essential workers in the Latino community, but will also help 25 local Latin restaurants who are hurting through the pandemic.

LACCC’s Community Kitchen Program provides additional food security for families of essential workers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic while also offering financial support for local, Latino-owned small businesses in the Charlotte metropolitan area. The program has already fed 8,000 families and supported 41 small businesses, and through Blue Cross NC’s $200,000 investment, the program’s reach will extend to impact an additional 600 families and support 30 small businesses.

“As an insurer that has served North Carolina’s communities for over 85 years, we have an ongoing commitment to improving the health and wellbeing of all North Carolinians,” said Reagan Greene Pruitt, vice president of marketing and community engagement at Blue Cross NC. “That’s why we continue to invest in organizations like LACCC that improve food security, and in turn, advance the health of their communities.”

LACCC launched the Community Kitchen Program in response to the pandemic early last year and began investing in Latino-owned small businesses in food services -- including restaurants, food trucks, caterers and small grocery stores that prepare hot food -- ultimately allowing them to remain open and keep employees on staff during North Carolina’s phased lockdowns, which greatly impacted the hospitality industry.

As the pandemic continues into 2021 and the weather gets colder, the impact has gone beyond just hospitality. With fewer people going to restaurants, many essential workers in the Latino community are receiving fewer work hours.

“With this funding from Blue Cross NC, LACCC is able to invest the funds back into Latin businesses by purchasing meals and coordinating the delivery of hot meals to essential workers and their families,” said Gris Bailey, president and CEO of LACCC. “This helps us continue our program, which has already held 250 smaller distribution events, and improve food security for Charlotte’s Latino community.”

“As part of Charlotte Motor Speedway’s ongoing partnership with Blue Cross NC, we’ve had the pleasure of working alongside them on several community initiatives in recent years, and this is a natural extension of those efforts,” said Greg Walter, executive vice president and general manager at Charlotte Motor Speedway. “Serving the community is part of our DNA, as it is for Blue Cross NC, and we’re excited to drop the green flag on this unique event to support those in need.”

>> If you have an inspiring story to share, email Kevin Campbell, WSOC-TV/WAXN-TV/Telemundo Charlotte public affairs manager, at Kevin.Campbell@wsoctv.com.

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