Helping our homeless and hungry neighbors. 9 Food Drive.

Helping our homeless and hungry neighbors. 9 Food Drive.

There are many ways a donation to 9 Food Drive makes a difference in the lives of our neighbors.

Sanchez Jackson was living on the streets of Charlotte for two years after he lost his wife to an illness.  Homeless and hungry, he was one of the over 2,000 estimated homeless people living in the Charlotte area.

“I’ve been without food for three days when I was on the streets,” Jackson said. “It was a painful feeling being that hungry.”

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Jackson turned to area soup kitchens like the Urban Ministry Center for meals.  “If this place (Urban Ministry Center) wasn’t here, there would be a whole lot of people hungry and starving,” Jackson said.

The center is one of over 700 partner agencies receiving food from Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina.  Second Harvest annually distributes over 50 million pounds of food and other items throughout a 19-county service region.

Fortunately, Jackson has been placed in housing through the center’s ‘HousingWorks’ program designed to give chronically homeless individuals a safe, stable and affordable home.

“The best part of having my own place is that I’m able to cook my own food,” Jackson said.  Although, he occasionally still has the need to visit a soup kitchen or get a referral for food at an area pantry.

Jackson hasn’t forgotten what it was like to be hungry. “If I have food left, I give my food away.  If you’ve got something to give, why not give it to your fellow man?” he said.  “If you have extra food, we can pass it along to someone else.”

From April 29 June 8, you can donate canned or nonperishable food during the 9 Food Drive.

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, they distribute 7 pounds of food. You can donate now by clicking on this link.

You can also donate nonperishable and canned food at any WSOC-TV Family Focus partner locations.  Ashley HomeStore, Showmars and E.R. Plumbing Services until June 8. Find a donation location near you by following this link. 

Learn more about the 9 Food Drive at

If your organization or business would like to get involved or help with 9 Food Drive or you have an inspiring story to share, please email Kevin Campbell, WSOC-TV community affairs manager at