CHARLOTTE — A huge event Thursday in east Charlotte was able to help a lot of families in need.
Several organizations teamed up for a huge food and household supplies giveaway. Volunteers were outside the Park Expo Center off Briar Creek Road, handing out hundreds of boxes of food and supplies.
Channel 9 was at a similar event in April in Statesville where hundreds of people showed up, highlighting how badly events like this are needed in our community more than a year-and-a-half into the pandemic.
The long line of cars outside the Park Expo Center was reminiscent of the early stages of the pandemic. While lockdowns have lifted and businesses have reopened, organizers said many families still don’t know where their next meal will come from.
Eddie Beckham waited in line for hours because he said it can be hard to make ends meet.
“The prices of the food is going up. It’s high, you know? And you can only spend so much money on so much stuff,” he told Channel 9.
Dubbed “The Big Pop Up,” the Charlotte Area Fund teamed up with several organizations and businesses for Thursday’s event. Those who showed up didn’t need any type of voucher or qualification -- it was first come, first serve until the supplies ran out.
The giveaway was a big help for William Willis, who is on a fixed income.
“I’m grateful because at this time people are unsure, and no telling what tomorrow will bring,” he said.
Because of COVID precautions, the event was drive-through only, so recipients didn’t even have to get out of their cars. The 120 volunteers loaded the boxes for them.
Charlotte Area Fund President Nicholas Wharton told Channel 9 they made sure they also provided COVID testing and vaccines at the event.
“You know, this vaccine hesitancy rate -- particularly in black and brown communities -- is really troubling,” he said.
But whether people get the shot or not, Wharton wants them to take away one simple message.
“We are trying to create an experience where folks just know that there are others who care about them,” he said.
(WATCH BELOW: Hundreds of struggling families get food, household supplies at drive-through event)
©2021 Cox Media Group