Tri-County Christian Crisis Ministries Director Heather Macy bared her gratitude for the assistance given by Food Lion as the nonprofit prepares to move locations.
“Food Lion really does a lot to help us out,” said Macy.
“What I don’t think that a lot of people realize is that every day we give to Tri-C at Food Lion,” said Michelle Wagoner, who works at the Jonesville store.
Wagoner explained how Macy and other Tri-C representatives regularly pick up items from Food Lion that include not only donations from the store, but its customers as well.
“If it’s inconvenient to come by [Tri-C], they can leave it at Food Lion and we can put it in the back,” said Wagoner. “They can drop [donations] off at Food Lion because Tri-C comes every day. I don’t think a lot of people realize that and it makes me proud to be a part of a company that cares about our individual little towns.”
Wagoner was at Tri-C participating in the Great Pantry Makeover, which is a program that utilizes not only items saved from store remodels but provides expertise and labor as well as food donations.
“We’ve done this for three years now,” said Matt Harakal, who assisted with 60 pantry makeovers representing Food Lion’s corporate level by cleaning shelves and helping local Food Lion employees like Joanie Macemore with stocking shelves.
Second Harvest Food Bank Regional Outreach Manager Tracy Cooksey Doss explained how Tri-C was one of the 60 pantries to receive the makeover in honor of Food Lion’s 60th anniversary.
“We put it out as a grant opportunity and we had programs apply for it,” said Doss, “and then we went through and submitted the top ones to Food Lion and they selected the ones that they wanted.”
The chosen pantries received extensive makeovers.
“Whatever you would need done. If you needed painting, if you did need shelving, if you need whatever,” said Macy. “They would provide some volunteer employees to do whatever we needed them to do to help with the pantry. They’re stocking shelves or cleaning or painting. Minor stuff. If we needed electrical work or something, they would get that worked out with a professional.”
Tri-C was in a unique situation which caused it to receive the benefits of the grant later than the projected 2017 completion date in honor of the anniversary.
“We were supposed to first do this in September,” said Macy, “then they pushed it to the very last group because we were in the process of purchasing this building, which was supposed to be November. Then different things happened [including the early January snowstorm], it’s been crazy.”
“We were planning on doing it at their other site then all of a sudden this whole thing was changing that they’re buying the building and everything,” said Doss.
“It turned out that they were able to get a lot of re-purposed items from [Food Lion] Salisbury warehouse and also help them with the whole layout logistically with the pantry. They’re moving into a smaller spot, so they have to really try to figure out how to put everything as well as they can.”
Although Food Lion makes regular donations to help fill those shelves, assisting with stocking them made the employees realize the need is even greater than the supply.
“I’ve noticed there’s no baby stuff,” said Wagoner. “I think that would be great for people to donate diapers and wipes and food and stuff like that because sometimes we forget about the little ones and they need our help as much as the older ones.”
“Anything that you would use on a daily basis food wise and personal care wise,” said Macemore, who was grateful to have the opportunity to help at Tri-C.
“It’s hard nowadays with the economy, and especially with people with children, for hard-working families to make ends meet,” said Macemore, “so something like this is just absolutely right for families to have somewhere to turn to and knowing that Food Lion helps with something like that, that’s just amazing.”
Tri-C will be moving to a new location just north of downtown Elkin in the near future.
Beanie Taylor can be reached at 336-258-4058 or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TBeanieTaylor.