Businessmen Mark Fisher and Doug Curley drove from the Food Lion parking lot on North Main Street on Tuesday in a rental truck with 1,000 Food Lion Feeds Holidays Without Hunger food boxes.
They bought the boxes for $5,000 – the largest donation by individuals since Food Lion started the annual campaign at its 1,100 stores in 2003, spokeswoman Erin DeWaters said.
Customers can purchase and donate a “Holidays Without Hunger” food box for $5 or make a cash donation at checkout.
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All cash donations benefit Feeding America, the largest domestic hunger relief charity, and its network of local food banks. Food boxes are donated directly to a local hunger relief food bank or agency.
Food Lion’s goal is to provide 240,000 food boxes through customer donations this holiday season, DeWaters said. The grocery store chain has committed to provide 500 million meals by the end of 2020. Food Lion Feeds has already donated about 40 million meals through in-store campaigns such as “Holidays Without Hunger.” .
Each food box contains peanut butter, chicken noodle soup, spaghetti, tomato sauce, macaroni and cheese and cut green beans.
John Henley, manager of the North Main Street Food Lion, said his store donated 1,000 cans of tuna to the men’s effort.
Fisher, 41, and Curley, 51, are donating many of their food boxes to the Davidson-based Ada Jenkins Center and The Cove church in Mooresville and its satellite campus in Cornelius, which will distribute the boxes to local families in need. Fisher and his wife, Elizabeth, live in Cornelius and attend The Cove, where Elizabeth has helped run food distribution efforts.
Other boxes will be distributed by West Monroe Baptist Church, where one of Fisher’s best friends is youth minister, and Journey Church in Greenville-Spartanburg, S.C.
Curley, of Rock Hill, credits Fisher with getting him involved in the effort. Their companies are next door to each other on Carowinds Boulevard on the state line.
Fisher is president of Summit Land Services, which provides site design, land planning and land surveying services. Curley is president of Summit Engineering, which provides geotechnical, environmental and materials testing.
Their donation came on Giving Tuesday, a national day of giving to nonprofits following the shopping craze of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. They hope to inspire others to give.
Fisher said his parents inspired him to give back. His mother, a former teacher in Skyland, near Asheville, provided food and clothing to students in need. His dad served 27 years in the military, and he and fellow soldiers in the Army Reserves also assisted families in need.
“Coming out of the recession, and with our business getting better, we had to give back,” Fisher added.
“Look at me,” Fisher, a portly 240 pounds, said. “I don’t miss a meal. We don’t want others to miss a meal, either.”