Volunteer has delivered food to thousands of people in need

Norwood has been mission focused for nearly 5 years

For some, it might be easy to take for granted the food we eat.

But since the spread of the coronavirus began, the number of struggling families has continued to increase, as has their need for food.

Across the Carolinas, 553,000 people in our 24-county region live at or below the poverty line.

Almost one in five children in North Carolina faces hunger on a regular basis. Hundreds of thousands of people are “food insecure,” which means they don’t know where their next meal is coming from.

Charlie Norwood, with Hickory Grove Baptist Church, is trying to change that number.

“A lot of people ask what their church can do for them, but I look at what can I do for my church or do for my city,” Norwood said.

Every week the church opens its doors and distributes fresh food, produce, meat, dairy items, breads and sweet treats for families who struggle with food insecurity.

“We try to give right back to the families that need it. We try to give them enough food to last before that week,” he said.

Along with a team of volunteers from Hickory Grove Baptist, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department community engagement team members and police cadets have been setting up mobile pantries since March 2020.

CMPD entered into partnership with Hickory Grove Baptist Church to provide weekly community food distributions.

“I see families who are struggling right now and hurting. A lot of people out of work a lot of people have multiple kids and they need this food,” Norwood said. “We need to start feeding as many of these families as we can with the food and the nutrition that they need for their kids.”

After Norwood closes the doors on the delivery truck, he hops in the truck, always ready to serve the next family in need. He always shows up to help, without fail.

With all the challenges facing our community, it is obvious that this man will be in place for as long as it takes, and he is working and serving every day.

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 bank’s partner agencies report that requests for food assistance have continued to increase at a rapid pace.

The unforeseen effect of the coronavirus has caused significant changes to how food donations can be collected and distributed.

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 $1 the food bank receives, it distributes seven pounds of food. You can donate 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 Kevin.Campbell@wsoctv.com.

CLICK BELOW TO SEE PHOTOS FROM THE CHURCH AND CMPD COLLABORATION