Lion-sized gift to RHM Ralph Ketner gives agency $10,000 in Food Lion gift cards

Published 12:00 am Sunday, October 5, 2014

It is better to give than to receive.
That message was reinforced Thursday when Ralph Ketner, co-founder of Food Lion predecessor Food Town, donated $10,000 to Rowan Helping Ministries to help the organization continue to feed people in need.
Ketner said he wanted to do something to help Rowan Helping Ministries and Food Lion. The $10,000 is in Food Lion gift cards, and Rowan Helping Ministries will use the gift cards to fill its food pantry.
Ketner helped raise money to pay for the original Rowan Helping Ministries building. He said the organization is important to him and that the relationship between businesses and the communities they serve needs to be strong.
Kyna Grubb, executive director of Rowan Helping Ministries, said she is always overwhelmed with Ketner’s generosity.
Food insecurity affects many people in Rowan County, Grubb said, and donations like Ketner’s allow her organization to continue its mission.
Without the donations, Grubb said, “we wouldn’t be able to do what we do, and the community would not be served.”
Nate Valentine, food manager for Rowan Helping Ministries, said the shelter is low on staple foods — peanut butter, cereal, canned fruits and vegetables, rice and beans — and the donation will help immediately. A delivery of $2,000 worth of food was made after the presentation.
Food Lion President Beth Newlands Campbell said, “I just want to thank Mr. Ketner for being the great leader that he’s always been for Food Lion.”
Ketner, who turned 94 in September, said, “The Lord’s been good to me.” The donation is a way of saying “thanks for your business” to the community, he said.
The presentation was held at Food Lion store No. 1 at 123 Mahaley Ave., which is close to the original Food Town location.
Food Lion is currently in a campaign to fight hunger. The company wants to serve 500 million meals before 2020.

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