SALISBURY, N.C. — Food Lion on Wednesday made a $500,000 donation in Food Lion gift cards to food banks across North Carolina after the state said it would temporarily suspend benefits under the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children Program (WIC) because of the federal government shutdown.
“Food Lion is pleased to take a leading role across the state in providing critical funding to North Carolina food banks that will begin to receive increased requests in the coming weeks,” said Beth Newlands Campbell, president of Food Lion, which is part of Delhaize America, also based here. “In North Carolina, one in four children face hunger each day, and parents are forced to make difficult decisions, like buying formula or paying rent, to provide their children with the nutrition they need. We’re hopeful that today’s donation helps families to make fewer of those tough choices, particularly during this time.”
The gift cards, which are in $5 increments, will be distributed to food banks in Asheville, Charlotte, Elizabeth City, Fayetteville, Raleigh and Winston-Salem that serve counties throughout the state.
According to reports, North Carolina was the first state to stop issuing new vouchers for the program, other than a brief suspension in Utah. North Carolina remains funded for existing WIC enrollees through October, but has halted new enrollment. The state program serves about 206,000 low-income mothers and young children per month, funded by an annual budget of $205 million provided by the federal government, according to the website governing.com.
Food Lion gift cards will arrive at the food banks over the next two days. Food banks will distribute them to partner agencies and constituents in the next several weeks, or purchase critical food needed for the food bank. The gift cards can be used in any Food Lion store. Gift cards cannot be redeemed for purchases of alcohol or cigarettes.
“On behalf of the seven food banks in North Carolina, we are overwhelmed with the generosity of Food Lion’s donation,” said Kay Carter, executive director of Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina and board chair of the North Carolina Association of Feeding America Food Banks.
Read more: N.J. Law Requires Temporary WIC Approval
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