Food giveaway in Union County helps people from different backgrounds

MONROE, N.C. — Hundreds of people lined up Tuesday to receive food outside Elizabeth Missionary Baptist Church in Monroe.

Boxes of healthy food were loaded into cars that were lined up for blocks.


Steve Pughsley was at the food giveaway wearing a shirt with his daughter’s picture on it. She was a police officer who was shot and killed last year in Alabama.

“She protected the city and got killed in her own home,” Pughsley said. “I had to sell everything to bury her and that’s why I’m in this line today.”

Volunteer Delores King was on a food run for her neighborhood.

“I get extra boxes for my community people that can’t get out, and they really appreciate it,” King said. “They really appreciate them.”

[Food banks, soup kitchens helping people affected by COVID-19 outbreak]

Crystal Robinson was a county employee and was also on a mission.

“This lady didn’t have a ride so we agreed to give her a ride and take her boxes, because she could not get here to get the food,” Robinson said.

A team of volunteers and the organizer, The Rev. Osco Gardin, handed out the boxes supplied by the government agency, Produce Alliance.

Gardin said there has always been a need but COVID-19 has made it more urgent than ever.

“I’ve expressed before that our phone rings constantly about the needs in our community,” Gardin said. “Food is just one of many needs but clearly COVID put our community in a situation where it became a greater need.”

They plan to have two more giveaways on each of the next two Tuesdays in April.

The program may extend to a different location, Gardin said.