Showing up to help those in need

Although sales from the financial ramifications of the coronavirus outbreak force restaurants around the Carolinas to adjust staff workers and temporarily close in some cases, their willingness to help others battling the pandemic is inspiring.

“The coronavirus has affected our neighbors leaving many struggling,” said Dean Peroulas, CEO of Showmars restaurants. “For the unemployed, food insecurity is a big concern.”

Amid the COVID-19 crisis, many restaurants and foodservice businesses have helped provide meals to those who need them.

Whether it is free meals for children who are missing school lunches, healthcare workers, families or people with no place to call home, the restaurant industry’s response to the virus has shown the importance of helping others in times of need.

Peroulas and his team had a double duty yesterday when they turned on their stoves and rolled up their sleeves to make meals for some of the less fortunate population who live in uptown Charlotte.

“Showarms wants to help as best as we can,” Peroulas said. “We are committed to all people in our community.”

As the need in our city continues to grow, the coronavirus has complicated reaching those people most in need.

Peroulas and the team from Showmars, delivered the meals to Block Love CLT, who do critical work feeding the less fortunate community, many who are homeless and live on the streets uptown or in homeless encampments.

The Showmars team loaded up food plates of their famous fried flounder, hushpuppies and fries.

With the uncertainty of how the coronavirus will affect the population in need, businesses and organizations are committed to help for as long as it takes.

Showmars, is a sponsor of the WSOC-TV community campaign, 9 Family Focus. For more than a decade, Showmars has helped the program collect tens of thousands of coats for kids in need, thousands of books and over a million school supply items.

Right now, Showmars, E.R. Plumbing Services, Ashley HomeStore and the Carolina Panthers are sponsoring the 9 Virtual Food Drive and so far collected nearly $100,000 for Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina.

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 packing 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.


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