Biz Roundup: Food Lion makes donation to support racial equality and justice

Published 12:00 am Sunday, September 27, 2020

SALISBURY — Food Lion recently announced that it will donate $500,000 to support racial equality and justice.

The grocer has selected several longstanding community partners to receive additional funding to support their work.

“At Food Lion, our value of care is at the center of everything we do, from how we run our business to how we engage with associates and customers to how we nourish our communities,” Food Lion President Meg Ham said in a news release. “Because we believe there is no place for systemic racism in our world, we are committed to doing our part to support racial equality inside our organization and inside our communities. We are holding ourselves accountable for making lasting change, and together with our community partners, we are hopeful that we can create a better future for all.”

All funding will be earmarked for initiatives that support equality and social justice, including scholarships and internships for Black and African-American students, education and social engagement in Black and African-American communities census participation and voter registration, development of diverse suppliers, education for children on civil rights, initiatives to improve police-community relations and virtual town halls and community engagement series.

Multiple chapters of some of the following organizations will be supported by Food Lion’s funding:

  • 100 Black Men of America
  • Carolinas-Virginia Minority Supplier Development Councils  
  • International Civil Rights Center & Museum
  • NC Institute of Minority Economic Development
  • The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture (Charlotte, N.C.)
  • Urban League of Central Carolinas

The funding supports partnerships that Food Lion has maintained with some of the organizations for several decades.

“Our partnership with Food Lion is built on a shared vision of a fair world, free of racial discrimination and injustice. With this generous gift from Food Lion, the Virginia State Conference NAACP will continue to expand its efforts with regard to civic engagement, voter registration and criminal justice reforms. Robert Barnette, president of the Virginia State Conference NAACP, said in a news release. “Further, we will be able to use these resources to enhance the work of our Youth and College Division to ensure the readiness of the next generation of leaders.”

Since June, Food Lion said that it has hosted conversations across the company about racial disparities. These discussions were facilitated by the company’s Business Resource Groups. Food Lion also asserts that it has set funding aside to enhance new hire onboarding and orientation and promote ongoing learning and development in areas of racial equity and social justice.

Food Lion’s community investment is part of the $5 million commitment announced by parent company Ahold Delhaize USA to work toward racial equality.

Food Lion Feeds donating 9.5 million meals to food banks

SALISBURY — Food Lion Feeds is donating 9.5 million meals to Feeding America partner food banks through the grocery store’s 10-state footprint. 

The initiative is a part of the Faces of Hope campaign, which is aimed to help support families impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Already on the front lines of ensuring all of our neighbors receive the nourishment they need, our food bank partners are now faced with new challenges from COVID-19 such as increased demand for food, transportation, and volunteer shortages,” Food Lion President Meg Ham said in a news release. “At Food Lion, we’re proud to work with these incredible organizations every day, and we’re committed to continuing to help ease the additional burden felt by our food bank partners and ensure they can feed families counting on them for their next meal.

For Food Lion, this donation continues a trend of financing initiatives to fight food insecurity. Earlier this year, Food Lion donated more than $3.6 million to community partners to provide COVID-19 relief, including $3.1 million to food bank and medical research partners and $500,000 in a partnership to support schools feeding children during the summer.

“Nourishing our neighbors is core to everything we do at Food Lion, and we recognize that this is an incredibly difficult time for many,” Ham said. “Our neighbors are counting on us more than ever and we will do our part to bring meals and hope to families in need.”

Since Food Lion Feeds was established in 2014, the grocery store chain has donated more than 500 million meals to individuals and families in a variety of methods. Food Lion has committed to donate 1 billion more meals by 2025.

More information on Food Lion Feeds can be found at

New Pathways Palliative Care clinic

SALISBURY — Pathways Palliative Care of Rowan County held a ribbon cutting ceremony on Tuesday for its new clinic on Old Concord Road in Salisbury.

Pathways Palliative Care’s goal is to help patients who may be struggling with symptom management and a plan of care, said Pathways Medical Director Dr. Charles Frankhouser in a news release.

“We are honored to be part of the Rowan County community, and want to make sure the patients and families we serve have the best quality of life possible,” Frankhouser said. “We are able to see patients in their homes, or in the clinic setting – wherever the patient is most comfortable.”

The clinic will be open to patients by appointment beginning in Oct. Members of the Rowan County Chamber of Commerce and Rowan County Board of Commissioners helped host the ribbon cutting event.

“It is exciting to see growth continue in Rowan County,” Rowan County Commission Chairman Greg Edds said in a news release. “As your business becomes part of our community, it will bring real value to people’s lives.”

To learn more about Pathways Palliative Care, or to schedule an appointment, call 704-924-4307.

Cannon Ballers’ Field of Honor on display Nov. 2-11

KANNAPOLIS — The Kannapolis Cannon Ballers will host its inaugural Field of Honor display at Atrium Health Ballpark on Nov. 2-11.

During the event, American flags honoring veterans and current service members will be posted in a display around the ballpark. The 3-foot by 5-foot flags can be purchased by individuals who can keep the flags once the event has concluded.

The Cannon Ballers will host an opening ceremony for the placing of the first flag on Nov. 2 at noon at Gate No. 1. The field will then be open to the public 24 hours a day for viewing and observation. Each evening during the event, “Taps” will be played as the sun sets. A closing ceremony featuring guest speakers, musical tributes and a reading of the names of the veterans honored on the field will be held on Nov. 11 at 11 a.m. inside the ballpark. All scheduled ceremonies are pending social distancing standards and mandates from Gov. Roy Cooper.

Flags are available for purchase for $40 at the Cannon Baller team store or online at

For more information on the event, visit or call 704-932-3267.

City of Salisbury’s finance department honored

SALISBURY — The City of Salisbury’s finance department was awarded the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for the 2019 fiscal year.

The Certificate of Achievement was given by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada.

“The City of Salisbury is honored to have received recognition from the Government Finance Officers Association for the quality of our annual financial report,” Salisbury City Manager W. Lane Bailey said in a news release. “I’m proud of the dedication and great job our finance team has done with our budget. This award demonstrates the City’s continuous efforts in maintaining and providing transparent and valuable information to our residents.”

The City of Salisbury received the award after being judged by an impartial panel to have met the standards of the program, which includes demonstrating a constructive “spirit of full disclosure” to clearly communicate its financial story and motivate potential users and user groups to read its comprehensive annual financial report. 

More information on the award can be found at

Government access channel rebranded as WSRG-TV

SALISBURY — ACCESS16, Salisbury’s local government television station, has rebranded as WSRG-TV, or Salisbury-Rowan Gov TV.

The station, founded in April 2005, broadcasts local government-related programming, including Salisbury City Council meetings, Rowan County Commissioner meetings, local weather forecasts, interview-style shows and special events like holiday parades and election candidate forums.

“I’m excited to be entering this new chapter of local government television,” WSRG-TV Station Manager Jason Parks said in a news release. “WSRG-TV will strive to carry on the tradition set by ACCESS16 by providing the residents of Salisbury & Rowan County with up-to-date, relevant local government content.”

The rebrand has been in consideration for some time, but the decision was made once the station relocated from channel 16 on Fibrant to channel 394 on Hotwire Communications, which allowed the station to rename without including a channel number in its branding.

For more information on WSRG-TV programming, visit or email Parks at or call 704-638-5320.

Concordia Lutheran Church published a book detailing the history of its stained glass windows, including this artwork that currently hangs in the sanctuary. Ben Stansell/Salisbury Post

Concordia Lutheran Church book details history of stained glass windows

CHINA GROVE — Concordia Lutheran Church has published a book detailing the history of the stained glass windows in its sanctuary.

The book was put together over the course of two years by the Concordia History Team, which is composed of Judy Haire, Carolyn Michael and Kathy Irvin. To research the stained glass windows, the team visited the Rowan County Library History Room and contacted former church members and their extended families.

Holly and Steve Ellsworth, Debby Isenhour and Carrie Brown played roles in photography, formatting and layout for the book.

The stained glass window book is available for sale for $25. For more information, contact Judy Haire at

Rowan Vocational Opportunities names assistant executive director

SALISBURY — Rowan Vocational Opportunities has named Kim Walton as the organization’s new assistant executive director.

Kim Walton was named the new assistant executive director for Rowan Vocational Opportunities. Photo submitted.

Rowan Vocational Opportunities is a non-profit rehabilitation facility with the purpose of providing work adjustment, vocational training and long term or transitory employment and life skills for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities, according to the organization’s website.

“We are extremely pleased that Kim has accepted this position. She brings a vast array of experience, training and expertise as a teacher and administrator,” Rowan Vocational Opportunities Executive Director Gary Yelton said in a news release. “Kim joined RVO in 2016 and has consistently demonstrated her ability and skills in working with consumers, staff, parents, guardians and caregivers alike. Kim’s compassion, expertise and knowledge of the population we serve is a major asset.” 

Walton is a graduate of North Rowan High School and earned a bachelor of arts degree in English/secondary education from Catawba College. She later earned her master’s in school administration from Appalachian State University. Walton is married to Alan Walton, a teacher and wrestling coach at North Rowan Middle School. She is the mother of two children, Brandon and Taylor and the daughter of the late Bobby and Susan Morgan.

Rowan Vocational Opportunities is in its 54th year of providing employment and life skills training.

Bankers group creates Diversity and Inclusion Council

RALEIGH — The North Carolina Bankers Association recently announced the creation of its Diversity and Inclusion Council.

Leading the new council is Janice Royster, director of endorsed vendor programs for Community Bank Services, the wholly owned subsidiary of the NCBA. Charles Frederick, the NCBA chairman and market leader for TD Bank and Jim Sills, NCBA vice chairman and president & CEO for M&F Bank will join Roster in leading the council.

The council members also include:

  • Michael Atkinson – First Citizens Bank
  • Almeda Benefield – Coastal Bank & Trust
  • Vivian Bolanos – First Bank
  • Kimberly Boyd – Peoples Bank
  • Sondra Collins – North State Bank
  • Betesha Ethridge – United Bank
  • Philip Fintchre – Fifth Third Bank
  • Sheldon Hilaire – TD Bank
  • Johnathan Kearney – PNC Bank
  • Les Lambert – Bank of America
  • Nick Means – Farmers & Merchants Bank
  • Clarence Nunn – JP Morgan Chase
  • Eric Powell – M&F Bank
  • Thomas Ransom – Truist Bank
  • Tameka Sampson – Select Bank & Trust
  • Jose Sandoval – American National Bank & Trust Company

Members of the NCBA Diversity and Inclusion Council will serve a one-year term and will meet regularly to provide input on ways that the organization can provide leadership on racial equality and to identify resources the organization should prove its members to help with diversity and inclusion efforts. 

“I am excited and proud to be a part of this historical endeavor of the Diversity and Inclusion Council led by the NCBA and bankers from across our great state,” Royster said in a news release. “The formation of a roundtable discussion on diversity, equity and inclusion will promote unity and leverage our leadership experiences, shared resources and perspectives within the banking industry and community.”

This effort is part of a larger movement for diversity, equity and inclusion being championed by the American Bankers Association.

“We welcome the creation of NCBA’s new Diversity and Inclusion Council,”  ABA President and CEO Rob Nichols said in a news release. “ABA is committed to helping banks of all sizes build diverse, equitable and inclusive workplaces that best represent the communities they serve, and this new council can help us advance those efforts in North Carolina. It’s critical for banks of all sizes to identify and remove barriers to equitable access and development; respect and value individual differences, experiences, and perspectives; and sustain employee engagement through inclusion, and the NCBA and all of our state association alliance partners will play an important role in those efforts.”

For more information on the council, visit

Rowan County Telecommunications joins emergency services network

SALISBURY — Rowan County Telecommunications moved to North Carolina’s state Emergency Services IP network 9-1-1 system on Wednesday.

The ESInet is the next generation (NG911) of receiving and processing 9-1-1 calls for service. The new system will help to more accurately route emergency calls to the proper call center.

The new generation will allow 9-1-1 calls to be mapped by coordinates or address locations and GIS data will be used to validate address data and route 9-1-1 calls to the correct location.

Rowan County is the 53rd 9-1-1 system in North Carolina to migrate to the ESInet system. 

“ We are excited to have this new technology in Rowan County to better serve our citizens and ensure we get the resources needed to mitigate their needs from our dedicated first responders,” Interim 9-1-1 Chief Lonnie Owens said in a news release.

RCCC offering  Parent Teacher Assistant Toolbox course

SALISBURY — Rowan-Cabarrus Community College is offering a new Parent Teacher Assistant Toolbox course to help parents who are struggling to maintain a balance between work and life while helping their children with online learning.

The course, which is offered free of charge, features helpful tips and advice as well as personal guidance from a parent teacher assistant coach and an opportunity to network with other parents.

“We have heard from many frustrated parents who are realizing that virtual learning may not be short term,” Keri Allman, the director of the RCCC’s R3 Team that developed the course, said in a news release. “With a multi-entry enrollment, parents can join at any time. More time availability is definitely a need for parents and this toolkit, along with the coach assistance, will help create a more flexible schedule during this journey.”

While the course is designed for parents of students who are in kindergarten through eighth grade, the resources can be helpful for any parent wanting to get organized, build their own skills and create a beneficial home learning experience.

“This course is completely self-paced,” Gina Pinyan, Parent Teacher Assistant Toolbox coach and a former public school teacher, said in a news release. “We want to make it as convenient as possible for parents, and we know it might be 10:30 at night when the house is finally quiet and they have some time to devote to exploring these tools.”

If you’re interested in getting started with the Parent Teacher Assistant Toolbox, call 704-216-7201 or email For more information, email or call 704-216-7201. For more information about Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, visit or call 704-216-RCCC (7222).

About Ben Stansell

Ben Stansell covers business, county government and more for the Salisbury Post. He joined the staff in August 2020 after graduating from the University of Alabama. Email him at

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