Cabarrus charity, auto dealer join forces to benefit seniors in need of food

Cabarrus Meals on Wheels has teamed up with Subaru Concord to help feed hungry seniors in need this holiday season.

During the past seven years, Subaru has donated nearly $50 million to various causes. Subaru also is helping fight hunger among senior adults through its “Share the Love” campaign, which ends Jan. 2.

Subaru Concord chose Meals on Wheels as its charity of choice this year. Multiple employees at the dealership regularly volunteer to help deliver thousands of meals to senior adults in need throughout Cabarrus County.

A local kickoff took place Dec. 3 at Subaru Concord, where employees accepted food donations as part of Subaru’s separate “Fill a Forester” effort, which also ends Jan. 2. Donations of canned goods and other nonperishable items, such as peanut butter, are recommended.

Also during the campaign, the dealership will donate $250 to Meals on Wheels in the name of anyone who buys a Subaru (buyers may choose a different national charity). As of Dec. 11, the campaign had raised $1,000 through car sales.

Earl Broadway, 32, from Concord, is the sales manager at Subaru Concord, but he’s also been a volunteer driver for Meals on Wheels for four years.

“What people don’t realize is that the service Cabarrus Meals on Wheels provides is much more than a hot meal,” Broadway said. “I realize we can’t stop and chat with everyone, but most just look forward to seeing someone with a smile on their face and a friendly ‘hello.’ ”

Hilary Smith, 44, of Concord has been a volunteer driver for two years. She likes seeing people walk into the dealership and learn about those in need throughout the community.

“I love my route and the people I deliver to,” Smith said. “When my 5-year-old, Caleb, was delivering meals with me over the summer, this sweet little lady would bring him a cookie every time she saw him.

“Even now that Caleb is in school, she asks how he is doing and passes along her ‘hello.’ “

Smith said it’s hard not to grow close to her clients.

“Another gentleman, Sydney, does magic tricks for Caleb,” she said. “When he sees him with me, he runs inside to get his magic stuff.

“How can you not get attached to these people? I am a Meals on Wheels addict, I admit.”

Gabrielle Goins, 87, of Kannapolis recently became a widow. Because of health issues and a limited income, Goins said, she can’t always prepare her own meals.

“I am homebound, and sometimes it is difficult to have enough food in my home,” Goins said. “But the volunteers are wonderful – very nice and polite – and they just make my day better. I look forward to seeing them.”

Goins joined the program as a participant about six months ago and has gotten frozen weekend meals, emergency food bags and even a birthday cake and a card.

“Meals on Wheels helps me to feel better and … gives me peace of mind, knowing someone will come to my door and bring a good, nutritious meal to me every day,” Goins said. “I don’t have to worry about food.”