South Charlotte businesses support annual Cans for a Cause food drive
Annual food drives like Ballantyne Corporate Park’s Cans for a Cause are making a big difference in the greater Charlotte community, and this year’s drive is anticipated to be bigger than ever.
Ballantyne Corporate Park will hold its fifth annual Cans for a Cause food drive from Wednesday, April 15 through April 24, a Friday, to benefit Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina. Donations can be dropped off in any building lobby in Ballantyne Corporate Park before noon on April 24.
Last year’s drive collected more than 4,485 pounds of food.
“Food drives like this, especially this time of year, are a critical component of what we do,” said Lisa Marie Nisely, food drive coordinator at Second Harvest Food Bank. “After the holiday season, food drives and the momentum for drives drop off. Summer is an extremely high-need time of year.”
Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina, located in uptown Charlotte, serves 19 counties across North Carolina and South Carolina. Second Harvest solicits, sorts and distributes food for nearly 650 partner agencies in those areas, including soup kitchens, emergency pantries, homeless shelters, senior programs and more.
Nearly 20 percent of Second Harvest’s service population lives in poverty, including 220,000 children and seniors, Nisely said. One in four children living in Second Harvest’s service area suffers from hunger, and one in six adults.
Nisley said drives like Cans for a Cause allow Second Harvest to continue serving the greater Charlotte area in the offseason when needs are more prominent. Eighty percent of the food distributed by the food bank comes from donations. Last year, Second Harvest distributed more than 45 million pounds of food and household items, with 16 million of that being fresh produce, meat and dairy supplied through monetary donations.
“Summertime puts a huge strain on families with children, because those kids are used to getting free or reduced breakfast and lunch at school,” she said. “When they’re home, that’s two extra meals they aren’t getting. We’re always so grateful for drives like Cans for a Cause because it’s a great kickstart into spring and summer. It’s not uncommon for our shelves to be completely dry this time of year.”
This year’s Cans for a Cause drive is on pace to be the Corporate Park’s most successful yet; Food Lion, as part of its Food Lion Feeds program, donated 5,000 pounds of cans to kick off the drive.
Businesses in Ballantyne Corporate Park and the south Charlotte community are encouraged to donate canned goods such as meats, fish, vegetables, fruits, peanut butter, pasta, rice, cereal and soup.
Monetary donations are also useful, Nisely said, as $1 provides seven pounds of food.
“With monetary donations, we can give families access to higher-price items like fresh produce and meat, healthier items, that they wouldn’t even think about putting in their grocery cart because of the price,” she said. “We’re really grateful for funds.”
Ballantyne-based Carlisle Companies Inc. has supported the Cans for a Cause drive since its inception.
“Carlisle always strives to support local causes,” representatives from Carlisle Companies Inc. said. “This one is important to us since it touches so many lives in the region … We would love to see Ballantyne Corporate Park surpass their goal and even break previous years’ records, and it’s Carlisle’s goal to help make this happen.”
To encourage other Ballantyne Corporate Park businesses to participate in the food drive, Carlisle will surpass the largest donation made by a company by five pounds, up to 11,605 pounds – Carlisle’s address in the Corporate Park’s Calhoun Building.
Contact Hailey Rorie at email@example.com for more information on the Cans for a Cause food drive. Visit www.secondharvestmetrolina.org and click on “GiveABit,” then “Donate Now” and enter code “BCP2015” to donate online.