As needs in our city continue to grow, the coronavirus has complicated reaching those people most in need.
When the governor enacted the “stay at home” policy, it became problematic for seniors on a fixed budget and families with limited or no transportation.
“There's a huge need in the community for children and seniors at risk to make sure they have a quality, healthy meal. Our seniors are afraid to go out right now, and so they can't utilize the food pantries and that's challenging. That means that some seniors are not eating right now around Charlotte,” said Charles Robinson, executive director of the Community Hub.
These added complications seem to have made a group of volunteers stronger, finding new ways to help.
“We serve nine hundred meals a day Saturday or Sunday. During the week, we serve about 450 a day. We have great community support.”
In the past two weeks, Robinson and a team of caring Charlotteans have served over 7,000 meals to families and children in need.
“We have community folk that just love their community. We have chefs from all over Charlotte. When I called out to get a kitchen I had eight chefs to say, ‘Hey, I'll come in and cook.’”
Every day, Robinson and a team of volunteers meet at Northside Baptist Church. They begin early in the morning to get breakfast ready, and then they turn on the ovens to prepare dinner.
With no funding, all this food is donated by caring individuals or businesses who understand the great need to help struggling families.
From this kitchen, dinners get packed and lunches bagged, and the food is loaded into cars of volunteers or in the back of Robinson’s pickup truck.
“There was as a group that made homemade cookies for two weeks for us and those children was so excited to get that cookie because they was stuck in the house.” Robinson said. “One cookie was all they got, they were glad to get it. That cookie brought a lot of smiles and you know this is a blessing.”
Life for a lot of people isn’t easy, but the many groups surrounding and partnering in this collective are focused on doing their part for the common good of everyone.
When Robinson hops in his pickup truck, he drives the meals to one of the many neighborhoods that are being helped. A family sets a table out in front of their home. The food is simply set out and the neighborhood knows that Robinson will always show up to help. Every day without fail.
With all the challenges facing our community, it is obvious that this team will stay in place for as long as it takes, and they are working and serving every day.
This mission doesn’t end; Robison hopped back in his truck to load up more food for the next neighborhood that will be blessed by these acts of kindness.
Whether it is driving meals to senior citizens, feeding students a warm meal or taking food to a tent community of homeless, this kind of community heroism will be here after coronavirus leaves.
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.