Burke County residents sleep in their cars overnight at food distribution site

Burke County residents sleep in their cars overnight at food distribution site


MORGANTON, NC (WBTV) – With the highest level of inflation we’ve seen in decades, it’s making it harder and harder for families to make ends meet. Lines at food distribution centers in our area are wrapping around the building. In Morganton, many people slept in their cars just to be the first in line to get some much-needed food.

Dozens of volunteers have been at the distribution site all afternoon Tuesday and into the night trying to load boxes of food into hundreds and hundreds of cars. And it’s not just a donation of convincing. In some cases, it’s a matter of life and death.

It’s been a long, hot day for these volunteers. But every open trunk means another empty belly, so they push through it.

Overcoming the heat and exhaustion they’re here to help. A look at what still lays ahead just makes them work harder. And there’s plenty of work to go around.

“The need seems to be greater and greater every week.” one volunteer said.

The Outreach Center has been passing out food for those in the community who are struggling.

On Tuesday, two truckloads worth were supplied by Second Harvest. Through the pandemic and into inflation many folks around Burke County just can’t seem to get their feet under them.

“It would be hard to survive,” said one person standing in line.

Hundreds of cars lined up to get the basics many simply can’t afford. Many were here way before volunteers even showed up.

“Some people come at five o’clock the day before and just spend the night in their car.”

Kim Michaels runs the show here coordinating workers and making sure food shows up where it needs to.

“With prices in the grocery stores and even with gas going down with everything so high, people are still struggling,” Michaels told WBTV’s Ron Lee.

Charity brought her youth group who’s getting a lesson in sweat equity when it comes to helping out those who need it.

“A little bit of sweat it’s worth seeing a smile on somebody’s face knowing they’ll get food for the week,” she said.

“I think it’s a great thing. I think it helps a lot of people out in the community,” said another person waiting for food.

For some out here, these boxes of food aren’t just appreciated, they’re a matter of life or death.

“Without this, I wouldn’t be able to survive.”

Maryanne Forte went through a liver and kidney transplant. She had to make a choice, food, or life-saving medications.

“It’s God’s gift to everyone here. These people are amazing.”

Whether it be angels on Earth, or just good people wanting to make a difference, volunteers here live and work by a simple creed:

“No one has to go hungry in Burke County,” said Sandy Dale.

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