‘Nourishing our neighbors’: After pledging $1 million, Food Lion celebrates new Second Harvest food bank on Airport Road

Published 12:10 am Thursday, April 21, 2022

SALISBURY — Kay Carter of Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina says doing the right thing means good will come.

So when Food Lion decided to donate $1 million toward the purchase of a new food bank on Airport Road, Carter said she knew Second Harvest could “step out on faith” as many food banks do to raise enough funds and support agencies that are working to address food insecurity.

On Wednesday, Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina, Food Lion and other community stakeholders gathered at the newest location at 385 Airport Road to celebrate the grand opening and tour the facility, which formerly housed United Beverages.

“For all of these years, who have been the people that have been right by our side? Food Lion. Always, always, always,” said Carter, the CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina. “Always making sure that nobody in any of our communities have to choose between paying bills and buying food.”

Carter referenced Food Lion’s pledge to work alongside Feeding America to provide a billion meals to families and those in need by 2025. She wants the new food bank in Salisbury to be part of that effort.

Carter explained that years ago when Second Harvest wanted to expand its Charlotte branch, Food Lion stepped up with a $1.5 million donation and sponsored a capital campaign that eventually raised $14.5 million. Noting that it’s not always easy for volunteers to get to Charlotte, Carter said the newest location in Salisbury will provide an even shorter drive for the more than 130 agencies that partner with Second Harvest Food Bank to continue addressing food scarcity, especially amidst higher costs of food and gas at this time. Second Harvest currently serves 24 counties in the Carolinas, including Rowan and the surrounding areas outside of Cabarrus and Stanly counties.

“That’s a critical thing for partner agencies,” she said.

Carter said Second Harvest was in search of a building and credited the Rowan County Economic Development Council with searching “high and low” all around the area. Within days, Carter visited the building that the EDC said met all her needs. Second Harvest made a decision that day to pursue the site “with no money in hand.” That’s when they called Food Lion.

“We had to have this building no matter what,” Carter said. “And of course — because this is what they always do — they said we’ll pledge $1 million. Well, that gives us enough to step out on faith that we’re going to raise the rest of it, which is how we step out every time. Food banks always step out on faith. When you’re doing the right thing, the right thing happens. I believe that and I say that to staff all the time.”

Gene Faller, vice president of category management with Food Lion, said Food Lion was happy to help this partner agency and provide space and resources to continue helping neighbors.

“Nourishing our neighbors is core to everything we do at Food Lion,” Faller said. “Through Food Lion Feeds, we’re committed to both addressing food insecurity today, but also working with our community partners to develop and support innovative solutions to address hunger in our communities.”

Following a tour of the new food bank, organizations like Novant Health and Atrium Health joined volunteer efforts for the first packing event at the new facility. Attendees toured a facility that has tens of thousands of square footage that will eventually provide various non-perishable food items, fresh produce and hygienic and toiletry items. In addition to Food Lion’s donation, a future freezer construction and expansion for the new food bank location will be made possible by the Cannon Foundation, the Gene Haas Foundation and Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina.

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 natalie.anderson@salisburypost.com or call her at 704-797-4246.

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