Centraide’s food drive brings together more than 4,000 items | Local News


HICKORY – In June, the Catawba County United Way Annual Food Drive collected nearly 2 tonnes – over 4,000 items – of non-perishable food. This year, the CCUW also collected over 900 personal hygiene items.

“For the people we serve, it’s the difference between having food for their family or not, so a food drive like this is vital,” said Austin Pearce, executive director of Hickory Soup Kitchen.

In 2020, 8,261 households in Catawba County received food allowances through Catawba County Social Services. This number has almost doubled this year to reach 15,698 households.

In addition to these resources, local food drives like the CCUW’s annual event in June offer another layer of help to people and families in need when they need it.

Donations will be divided among three of the county’s pantries – The Salvation Army, the Christian Ministry of the Eastern Catawba Co-op and the Christian Ministry of the Greater Hickory Co-op. The county’s two soup kitchens – The Corner Table in Newton and The Hickory Soup Kitchen are also benefiting from the practice.

Corner Table executive director Summer Jenkins said that while there was a 16% increase in their guests between 2019 and 2020, the numbers remain constant for 2021.

“One need that has changed internally for us is the fact that we still serve take out and spend more than usual on paper products,” Jenkins said. “Collecting food helps us save on food expenses and buy other supplies for operations. “

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