Family Focus

Homeless veteran gets tons of food to Carolinians in need

For most people entering the U.S. military, there is an underlying desire to serve. Even following their service, many veterans continue to do good in their own community.

The work of one Charlotte veteran was evident during the 9 Food Drive when he helped facilitate a food donation that tipped the scales at over 20,000 lbs.

“I was a homeless vet, technically I still am, and I actually needed this box of food about a year ago,” said Alan Winniger.

Winniger contacted USA Veterans and Military Support Foundation who heard his story and sent a truckload of canned and nonperishable food to help feed those in need in the Charlotte area.

The organization sent a semi-truck of food from Indianapolis to Charlotte.

“Now, I’m helping Channel 9 with the food drive to make sure this gets to the right people that need it,” Winniger said.

For the past 16 years, WSOC-TV and Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina have partnered to end area hunger through the 9 Food Drive.

The food will be distributed to over 800 food pantries, soup kitchens and homeless shelters across the Carolinas.

“Giving to the community is what we’re all here to do,” he said. “It’s not that everybody has to be homeless to understand it. We just need to step up and take action.”

USA Veterans and Military Support Foundation provides programs, services and goods that help satisfy critical needs and enhance the well-being and quality of life for United States veterans, active-duty military and their families.

Winniger is a single father of an 11-year child who is autistic.

“To do something good for the greater good of people, I’m a vet, that’s what we do, we help people,” he said.

The 9 Food Drive continues through the month of June, and your help is still needed.

You too can help by donating canned or nonperishable food items now at any Arby’s, Ashley HomeStore or E.R. Services.

A complete list of donation locations can be found here.

Because the food bank supplies food and essential grocery items to hundreds of agencies, a monetary donation helps all of these organizations.

For every dollar the food bank receives, it distributes seven pounds of food. You can make a financial donation now by clicking on this link.

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