Food Lion Feeds collecting donations to benefit the community

“It makes an enormous difference. We help feed upwards of 200 families twice a month,” said Beckett, a volunteer with First Baptist Church of Leland.
Published: May. 23, 2023 at 11:20 AM EDT
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LELAND, N.C. (WECT) - Tom Beckett goes food shopping every week in Leland. His go-to stop is the Food Lion on Village Road NE.

“With our foodbank crew, we pick up food every week from Food Lion,” said Beckett, a volunteer with First Baptist Church of Leland’s food pantry. “It makes an enormous difference. We help feed upwards of 200 families twice a month.”

Food Lion Feeds is an effort to get food on the table to people in the community. Every single one of its stores culls the aisles, looking for produce, baked goods and pre-made food that can be sent to area food pantries.

“Maybe something’s a little blemished, or maybe the due date is coming up soon,” said Elizabeth Prine, store manager for a Food Lion in Leland. “We need to find ways to help, and give people hope and let them know, we’re all in this together.”

Food Lion recently spent $50 million to overhaul its stores. There’s an added focus on fresh, ready-to-go options for the busy consumer. But one thing remains constant.

“Oh, we strive to make a difference. We take this very seriously,” said Food Lion President Meg Ham. “All across out 1,108 stores, we have food rescue programs, and we’re a pioneer of that.”

That mission statement holds true across the grocery store’s business landscape, partnering with 33 food pantries in 10 states.

“People may be surprised at how it adds up,” said Prine. “In our store, alone, we donate about 56,000 pounds of food a year; that’s 28 tons.”

The effort is on-going. In Wilmington, Food Lion has donated more than $500,000 to help get the new commercial kitchen up at running at the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina’s new Wilmington facility.

The new 35,000 square-foot space is opening up at 1000 Greenfield Street in Wilmington.

“We’re proud to be part of this partnership and being a part of this community,” said Ham. ”We really do believe that no one should have to choose between dinner and rent and gas and groceries.”

Since 2001, the Food Lion Feeds Charitable Foundation, a separate 501 (c)(3) nonprofit, has provided over $16 million in support for hunger relief initiatives across the country.

You can donate to Food Lion Feeds at several participating locations throughout the week and say hello to WECT’s Daniella Hankey and Frances Weller on Wednesday and Friday, respectively. You can learn more here.