Hidden Valley food giveaway stretches beyond the holidays

North Carolina

CHARLOTTE (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) — The cars are waiting–and quite literally, it is hundreds of people that are there, patient.  In some cases, that wait is over an hour–and it’s all to be able to put something on their tale.

While it may sound dramatic, it is a reality that is being seen more and more from communities seeing rising prices in food, or food shortages.

For the past few years, Hickory Grove Baptist Church, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police, and the Second Harvest Food Bank have been going out every Wednesday, giving away food.  Officials said the lines at those locations, which extend across the Charlotte area from week to week, have only increased in that time.

“It gives you enough to provide for a family,” said Ella Campbell, who was in line waiting for food Wednesday afternoon.

She was not alone.  The line of cars for this food giveaway snaked across three rows of a local church parking lot and extended outside onto the road.

“Sometimes on a normal basis, we do anywhere from 250 to maybe 350 in any given day,” said Charles Norwood with Hickory Grove Baptist Church.

Experts have said food prices are at a 10-year high heading into the Christmas holiday.  Some, like Tanya Coleman, only recently realized help is there.

“This is actually my first time coming,” she said.  “Someone told me about it and I just decided to come on.”

“We have fresh meat, we have produce, sweets, bread,” said Norwood, who added they do not turn people away.

People in the line came from every walk of life, with some on fixed incomes and others who have had to sacrifice. Campbell said, for now, the help from the food giveaway offsets the extra costs at the grocery stores.

“Everything’s gone up…soap, toothpaste,” she said.

The food giveaway is something that happens every Wednesday.  The next event will be from 1 pm-4 pm at 2348 Dr. Webber Avenue in West Charlotte.

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