Biz Briefs: Food Lion Feeds awards $1 million in grants to nearly 600 hunger relief agencies

Published 12:00 am Sunday, May 10, 2020

SALISBURY — Food Lion Feeds has announced the recipients of $1 million in grant funding being awarded to nearly 600 feeding agencies across its 10-state footprint as part of its continued efforts to care for neighbors impacted by COVID-19.

The funds are being distributed to local feeding agencies affiliated with the 30 regional Feeding America food bank partners across the towns and cities in Food Lion’s service area, including the Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina. These grant resources will enable each agency to purchase food and other critical items needed to meet increasing demand during this unprecedented time.

The grants are part of the more than $3.1 million in COVID-19 relief efforts Food Lion announced recently, representing the largest single community relief donation ever made by the retailer.

The Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina feeding agencies receiving grants in Salisbury include Grateful Heart Community Services with $3,000; Rufty-Holmes Senior Center with $1,000; The Salvation Army of Salisbury with $3,000; and the Iglesia de Dios Pentecostal Mi Cristo la Roca with $2,500.

Main Street Mission in China Grove has received $3,500, and Cabarrus Cooperative Christian Ministry in Kannapolis has received $5,000.

“This is an unprecedented and challenging time, and we know our neighbors are counting on us more than ever to help nourish their families,” said Meg Ham, Food Lion president. “From schoolchildren missing meals while schools are out, to parents who have lost jobs, and seniors who are struggling to make ends meet, we’re committed to serving all of our neighbors now more than ever. We are doing what we can to support our food bank partners and these local feeding agencies that share our passion for ensuring none of our neighbors have to worry about where their next meal will come from.”


Busby new chairman of Robertson Family Foundation board

The Blanche and Julian Robertson Family Foundation recently announced that Dr. Bret Busby has been elected as Chairman of the Board.

Also, four new members were elected to its board of directors this year. Matt Barr, Nick Means, Kathy Rusher and Lane Wallace will help the foundation continue to have an impact in Rowan County in the years ahead.

Barr is vice chairman of Chroma Color Corporation. He has served on numerous local, regional and national governance boards, including at the National Associations of Manufacturers, Young Professionals Association, Rowan-Cabarrus Community College and Novant Rowan Medical Center. He also has significant philanthropic experience.

Means is the Training and Development Officer for F&M Bank. He has been active with many different youth organizations throughout Rowan County, including the Rowan County Youth Services Board, Man Up, Rowan County YMCA, Tsunami Development, the Rowan IDEA Center and the Salisbury Civitan Club. He has served in many leadership roles, and has individually mentored students in Rowan County.

Rusher has also been active with youth organizations, serving in various leadership roles with athletic booster clubs and teacher/parent organizations in the Rowan-Salisbury Schools district. She has also served as co-chair of Crosby Scholars Rowan, on the board of the Michael Yang Foundation and in various roles supporting youth at St. John’s Lutheran Church.

Wallace comes to the foundation with both business and philanthropic experience. She is a professed environmentalist and has recently served as a sustainability consultant. Recently, she has been focused on trying to create a community welcoming of young professionals.

“I am truly honored to be joining other passionate community members on the board who are doing their best to ensure that the Blanche and Julian Robertson Family Foundation’s generosity will continue to have a lasting impact on Salisbury and Rowan County,” Rusher said.

As these new board members were welcomed, the board celebrated the departure of veteran board members Dr. Catrelia Hunter, Lillian Morgan and Fred Stanback.

“It is truly impossible to put into words the dedication that these three retiring board members have shown to our foundation, and to this community,” said Margaret Kluttz, who served as Board Chair of the Robertson Family Foundation until the end of 2019. “Their collective wisdom, love of this community, and work ethic has impacted Salisbury and Rowan County in ways that will serve us all for many years to come.”

Busby said, “This is truly an honor to be a part of this remarkable organization. Following Margaret is a daunting proposition. She has led this organization and this community through challenging times with wisdom, vision, and grace. I am glad that she will continue to stay on as Immediate Past Chair to help guide this organization.” 

Other members continuing to serve are Timothy Bates, Susan Kluttz, Clay Lindsay Jr., Scott Maddox, Alex Robertson, Spencer Robertson and Wyndham Robertson.

The Blanche and Julian Robertson Family Foundation was established in 1997 by Julian Robertson, Jr., as well as with his two sisters Wyndham and Blanche, in honor of their parents Blanche and Julian Robertson. The Foundation has contributed more than $37 million to nonprofits in Salisbury and Rowan County in the years since supporting social services, education, health, the environment, arts and other initiatives.


1,000th participant signs up for Volunteer Registry and joins Duke COVID-19 study

KANNAPOLIS — In the midst of a global pandemic, Andy Yoos feels grateful and a little surprised that he can participate in health research studies through a new Duke registry based in Kannapolis.

“I never would have thought I’d have an opportunity like this in Kannapolis,” said Yoos, 49, who recently became the 1,000th person to join the Duke TransPop Volunteer Registry. “Now, with COVID-19 here and across the globe, being part of this registry makes me feel even more proud than before. If I can do anything to make this world a better place, a safer place, then I’m all in.”

Yoos joined the online registry shortly before the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, which causes COVID-19. As a member of the registry, he receives emails about health studies that may interest him, based on information he provided to the Duke Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI). Duke CTSI’s Translational Population Health Research group, or “TransPop,” manages the registry from Duke’s office on the North Carolina Research Campus.

Through the registry, Yoos signed up for a Duke COVID-19 study that he’s doing at home by completing health surveys. Joining the registry and contributing to research feels like making a difference, Yoos said.

“Health research is more important now than ever. I see the potential for life-saving outcomes,” he said. “This world we’re living in now is totally different than anything we’ve ever seen before.”

Duke cardiologist Dr. L. Kristin Newby is the principal investigator for the registry. Newby, who is the faculty director for the TransPop group, also leads the MURDOCK Study, a groundbreaking Duke CTSI health research project based in Kannapolis entering its second decade.

“We are excited about reaching the milestone of enrolling 1,000 participants in the Volunteer Registry. This virtual registry is a powerful tool for investigators and makes participating in research studies easy and convenient for volunteers,” said Newby. “I’m once again amazed and humbled by the support of our community, and we are proud to offer this new opportunity to people throughout North Carolina and beyond. Any adult can sign up.”

The registry is designed to collect and maintain information about participants who may be contacted for future studies. Adults 18 and older can join the registry, which has no zip code or geographic restriction. Healthy participants, as well as people suffering from a disease or condition, are invited to join.

“It’s a secured directory of adults who are willing to be contacted to participate in clinical research studies. By joining, you give us permission to contact you if we believe you might be a good fit for one of our studies,” Newby said. “Research takes a long time. Having a group of people willing to participate in research allows us to speed up our process of recruiting our community to improve health for everyone.”

The risk manager for the City of Kannapolis, Yoos was born and raised in Kannapolis and has watched the city transform from a textile mill village to a clinical and nutrition research hub, anchored by the North Carolina Research Campus. The 350-acre campus is home to eight universities including Duke, as well as other public and private partners.

“It’s wonderful to be able to contribute to mankind from here,” Yoos said. “We have to embrace the future, and the future of Kannapolis is research.”

Learn more about the registry by emailing or calling Duke’s Kannapolis office at 704-250-5861.

About Natalie Anderson

Natalie Anderson covers the city of Salisbury, politics and more for the Salisbury Post. She joined the staff in January 2020 after graduating from Louisiana State University, where she was editor of The Reveille newspaper. Email her at or call her at 704-797-4246.

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