PRESS RELEASE North Carolina Retail Merchants Association (NCRMA) 209 Fayetteville St., Raleigh, NC 27601 Contact: Ann Edmondson…
Association Donates $50,000 to the Feeding America Food Banks
Raleigh, NC (June 11, 2014) –As part of the 19th Annual North Carolina General Assembly Legislative Food Drive, the CFIC and the North Carolina Retail Merchants Association (NCRMA) joined with Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) and House Speaker Thom Tillis (R-Mecklenburg) to declare June “Stop Summer Hunger Month” in North Carolina.
“Our retail members wholeheartedly support such a worthy cause and give to their community food banks all year,” said NCRMA President and General Counsel Andy Ellen. “Retail merchants see firsthand the daily needs of their customers for various types of food, paper products, hygiene and specialty items. They also have a heightened awareness of the many disadvantaged citizens in North Carolina who do not always have the financial resources they need in order to buy these products for themselves or their children. Summer is an especially difficult time for families with school-age children who no longer have access to the free and reduced lunch program provided by the state.”
The presentation to the North Carolina Association of Feeding America was made at 11:30 a.m. this morning during a press conference in the North Carolina Legislative Building.
Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger (R-Rockingham), continuing the tradition that began in 1995, attended and spoke at the press conference. Other speakers included House Speaker Thom Tillis (R-Mecklenburg), North Carolina Association of Feeding America Food Banks Executive Director Alan Briggs, and NCRMA President and General Counsel Andy Ellen.
Additionally, CFIC presented a $50,000 check to Feeding America and a portion of this donation will be earmarked for the Backpack Buddies programs at partner agencies across the state. The donation is made possible through the association’s charitable foundation, the Retail Consumer Alliance Foundation (RCA). Governor Pat McCrory, recognizing the great need to help North Carolina’s most vulnerable citizens, signed the proclamation declaring June Stop Summer Hunger Month late last week.
North Carolina retailers are the largest supporters of the state’s food banks providing cash donations to purchase equipment or vehicles; holding storewide food drives throughout the year; and through in-kind donations via programs such as the Legislative Food Drive and the statewide Retail Recovery program. This year NCRMA and CFIC members CVS Caremark, Food Lion, Harris Teeter, Lowes Foods, Publix, Sheetz, and Walmart participated in the event and provided data about their annual giving in North Carolina. Just from this handful of retailers, 52,410,594 pounds of food and $1,465,718 was donated in 2013 statewide, which is the equivalent of 51.4 million meals.
“We appreciate the efforts by the NCRMA, CFIC and the legislative leadership each year to promote public awareness of hunger and to support this annual legislative food drive,” said Alan Briggs. “Every day our food banks work hard to find sufficient food to feed our needy neighbors across North Carolina. And every day the state’s retailers help us get that food. We have no more steadfast partners than our state’s grocers, drugstores and other retail merchants. We are grateful and proud to have such great donors and supporters.”
NCRMA and CFIC have actively participated in the General Assembly’s Food Drive since its inception. In addition to their member donations, everyone at the legislature is asked to bring items for the North Carolina Association of Feeding America. In 2013, the North Carolina Food Banks collected over $300 in cash donations and 200 pounds of food from legislators, staffers and lobbyists. In total, the 2013 collections and donations provided 856,320 meals to our neighbors in need!
“No child should go hungry. We are grateful to Governor McCrory for this proclamation and to the legislative leadership for their continued support to raise awareness of this critical situation across our state,” said Ellen.
About the North Carolina Association of Feeding America Food Banks – The North Carolina Association of Feeding America Food Banks covers all 100 of the state’s counties and provide food assistance for an estimated 1.6 million residents annually – about 1 in 6 North Carolinians.
- North Carolina and Louisiana lead the nation with the highest percentage of children under 5 years of age who are food insecure on a regular basis: 1 in 4. (23.5%).
- Of the 671,000 low-income children in North Carolina who receive lunch assistance during the school year, only 98,000 will be able to participate in feeding programs this summer;
- 80% of NC households with children who receive food assistance don’t know where their next meal is coming from.
- 28% of food pantries in NC have had to turn people away for lack of food.
- 35% of families served by food banks have been forced to choose between paying for food or for their rent/mortgage.
- NC has several cities that are among the highest food insecurity rates in the nation: Asheville, Greensboro-High Point, and Winston-Salem.
Nearly 95 cents of every dollar we receive is used to put food on the table for our neighbors in need. CFIC members encourage others to donate to North Carolina’s Feeding America Food Banks online at www.ncfoodbanks.org.