By John Bailey
Sometimes, we all just need a little help.
In 2020, 8,261 households in Catawba County received food benefits through the Catawba County Social Services. That number nearly doubled this year to 15,698 households.
To help meet the issue of food insecurity in our community, the Catawba County United Way (CCUW) is hosting its annual food drive, June 14-18.
The drive will support local non-profits who also play a pivotal role in helping families meet their food needs throughout the year.
During last year’s event, the CCUW collected more than 6,400 items – weighing more than 2 tons and distributed them among The Salvation Army, Eastern Catawba Cooperative Christian Ministry, Greater Hickory Cooperative Christian Ministry, the Hickory Soup Kitchen and The Corner Table Soup kitchen in Newton.
This kind of outreach is critical to these local resources.
Greater Hickory CCM helped an average of 850 households per month, more than 10,000 families, with monthly supplemental food assistance last year.
In Newton, The Corner Table provides more than 4,000 meals to an average of 123 guests per day and more than 1,000 students receive a bag of food through its Backpack program weekly.
You can support this effort by bringing non-perishable food items and personal hygiene products to the United Way’s office in Hickory – 2760 Tate Blvd SE – from June 14 to June 18, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Food items requested include: ranch dressing, mayonnaise, ketchup, diced potatoes (canned), sliced carrots (canned), black eyed peas (dry), canned meats (chicken, tuna, beef stew, Vienna sausages), canned vegetables, canned beans, macaroni and cheese or easy mac, pudding cups (unrefrigerated), microwave meals (unrefrigerated), pop top can meals such as chef Boyardee, tuna or canned chicken, fruit cups (unrefrigerated), peanut butter (plastic container), jelly (plastic container), apple sauce (plastic container), oatmeal or grits (sold in packet form) and granola bars.
Hygiene items requested include: toilet paper, deodorant, tooth paste, tooth brushes, soap, shampoo, conditioner, hand sanitizer and cleaning wipes.
If you have any questions or would like to volunteer to be a collection site, call 828-327-6851 or email John Bailey at firstname.lastname@example.org.