SALISBURY – Livingstone College will distribute food boxes and Food Lion gift cards on Tuesday, Jan. 12, on its campus to address food insecurity in the Salisbury area.
Livingstone Feeds is scheduled for 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. or while supplies last, and will be contact free. Drivers simply come on campus through the main gate, make a left on Price Drive, pop open their trunks, and alumni and staff volunteers will load food boxes, which include meat, dairy and produce.
Additionally, each car will be offered a hot, boxed meal to go by Simon Temple AME Zion Church’s food truck of Fayetteville, and a $25 Food Lion gift card. Anyone is eligible to receive the donations.
Livingstone Feeds is made possible by a partnership that N.C. Governor Roy Cooper announced in November between Livingstone College and the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services: Office of Minority Health and Health Disparities, in which Livingstone is administering $5 million in grants to help the state address food insecurity.
The state selected Livingstone College to administer The Hurt & Hunger Initiative through the AME Zion Church to support congregations and nonprofits who are providing meals and food distribution to vulnerable communities, with a special emphasis on children, the elderly and the homeless.
Dr. Anthony Davis, senior vice president and chief operating officer of Livingstone College, who is managing the program, said more than 600 projects have been funded through the initiative.
Food Lion took part in the effort by matching a $100,000 purchase of gift cards made by the college, affording Livingstone to distribute a total of $200,000 in gift cards through the AME Zion church.
“Their matching donation of $100,000 in gift cards has allowed us to expand our reach and increase our impact, and is a testament to their commitment to our communities,” said Dr. Jimmy R. Jenkins, Sr., Livingstone College president.
“The AME Zion Church is executing food insecurity projects from the mountains to Eastern North Carolina through food boxes, hot meals and Food Lion gift cards to marginalized populations,” Davis said.
Food insecurity has been exacerbated by the pandemic. Prior to COVID-19, 35 million people were dealing with food insecurity. During the pandemic, that number has increased to about 55 million and 15 million of those are children, Davis said.
At a recent food box giveaway in Salisbury, a family told organizers the food donation was timely because they did not know from where their next meal was coming. At another distribution site out of the county, an elderly woman cried because she was hoping and praying she would make it to the front of the line before the boxes ran out, he recalled.
The food drive is being held days before the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend. King once said, “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” Davis said. “Food insecurity is a social justice challenge of our day.”
“This is a great opportunity for a Historically Black College and University (HBCU) to partner with the faith-based and nonprofit community to serve vulnerable people in vulnerable places. Unfortunately, this pandemic reminds us that there are people in this great state who are invisible, and their voices cannot be heard from the valley of despair,” Davis said.
“This pandemic creates a unique opportunity to form unlikely partnerships to address food insecurity in the state of North Carolina,” Jenkins said. “This is an opportunity for entities that are in the trenches to reach people who are normally unreachable.”
About Livingstone College
Livingstone College is a private historically black college that is secured by a strong commitment to quality instruction, academic excellence and student success. Through a Christian-based environment suitable for holistic learning, Livingstone provides excellent business, liberal arts, STEAM, teacher education and workforce development programs for students from all ethnic backgrounds designed to promote lifelong learning, and to develop student potential for leadership and service to a global community. For more information, visit www.livingstone.edu.