The Carolina Panthers and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina are teaming up to sack hunger by delivering meals to underserved areas of Charlotte through the Panthers' Neighborhood Kitchen program.
The program will consist of six different meal distributions in some of Charlotte’s highest-need neighborhoods.
Each event will distribute 300 individually prepared meals, all of which are chef specialties from three locally owned, African American catering companies/chefs – Curbeam Cuisines (Chef Jeremy), Jimmy Pearls and Maiya Cooks (Chef Maiya).
The kickoff event took place Tuesday at the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Charlotte. The meals were served from a Panthers-branded service trailer and included Panthers Legend alumni player Jonathan Stewart and team mascot Sir Purr to provide an additional uplift for meal recipients.
The Panthers are collaborating with community partners The Boys & Girls Club of Greater Charlotte and Charlotte Black Owned for the program.
“The Carolina Panthers are grateful for the partnership and support of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina and Charlotte Black Owned to provide critical meal service to some of our community’s most fragile neighborhoods and families in need,” said Riley Fields, director of community relations for the Carolina Panthers. “It is our hope that beyond providing a substantial meal, the Panthers Neighborhood Kitchen program will also provide an uplifting experience for children and families.”
Events will be closed to the general public, and a limited number of vouchers will be distributed to the various communities. A voucher is required to exchange for a meal.
“Blue Cross NC is honored to have the opportunity to work with the Panthers to let communities in Charlotte know we’re committed to helping them through this difficult time,” said Reagan Greene Pruitt, vice president of marketing and community engagement at Blue Cross NC. “Improving food security is one of our highest priorities in our mission to improve the health and well-being of all North Carolinians.”
While watching the city’s growth over several years, including the banking, hospitality and retail industries, Charlotte Black Owned saw an expanding gap in representation of Black-owned businesses.
Charlotte Black Owned’s mission is to fill resource gaps for local Black-owned businesses in the areas of funding, financial literacy, collaboration and overall stability.
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