Common Heart to feed 800 families in Union County

INDIAN TRAIL – Indian Trail’s Common Heart is looking for volunteers to help distribute groceries to almost 800 families in western Union County during their upcoming fundraising event.

(Above) Volunteers help out at a Thanksgiving event with Common Heart in Indian Trail. The group will team up with Speedway Children’s Charties this month to feel 800 local families.

(Above) Volunteers help out at a Thanksgiving event with Common Heart in Indian Trail. The group will team up with Speedway Children’s Charties this month to feel 800 local families.

The organization is looking for about 60 to 70 volunteers to help set up, distribute food and clean up during their fundraiser on June 18, a Tuesday, where organizers hope to feed about 600 to 800 families.  The event will take place in the parking lot of Food Lion, 5850 Independence Blvd. in Indian Trail, where Common Heart will distribute two trailer loads of food and other items from Feed the Children to families in need.

“We will be set up in the front part of the parking lot and folks will drive in and there will be a drive thru set up,” Keith Adams, the executive director of Common Heart, said.  “Volunteers will pick up their vouchers from them and load up their vehicle with the items.”

Volunteers are needed at various times from 2 to 8 p.m., with the actual event lasting from 4 to 7 p.m.  Cleanup after the fundraiser will last about an hour.  Anyone interested in volunteering can sign up at www.june18.the
commonplace.org.

The Speedway Children’s Charities contacted Common Heart when they learned there would be two trailers of food coming from Feed the Children.  The Indian Trail-based organization previously received a grant from the Speedway Children’s Charities over the Thanksgiving holiday, and the organizations wanted to team up again for another project.

“Back around Thanksgiving we received a grant from them for our work for providing food for children,” Adams said.  “They contacted us because we are in the business of distributing food.”

Common Heart has been working with local schools, nonprofits and other agencies to identify families in need.  Each family will receive a box of food and other items and information about local services available.
Adams said the event couldn’t be timed better, with the school year coming to an end.

“We found that the need is really big during the summer.  People have their kids home more often and don’t have the meals from the school,” Adams said.

He also added food stamps may be delayed by a week in the near future and wants to help Union County residents who will be short on food.

Common Heart annually provides about 5,000 families, or about 400 families per month, with a week’s supply of groceries.  Adams said without the relationships his organization has built with local churches and businesses, they could not help all of the families they do throughout the year.  The organization is a member agency of Second Harvest Food Bank, which allows it to receive about 1,200 to 1,800 pounds of food per week for distribution.

“We are very dependent on our relationships with churches that will hold food drives for us and businesses who donate food,” he said.

Businesses like Trader Joe’s and BI-LO hold monthly food drives for Common Heart to help fill its two food pantries – the Common Cupboard in Indian Trail and its food pantry at June Bugs in Stallings.  Common Heart also provides free income tax preparation, benefits counseling and more to residents throughout western Union County.

Common Heart’s thrift store – Common Things – also helps provide those in need with a variety of items and raises funds for the nonprofit to continue its services in the community.  The store, located at 116 Business Park Drive in Indian Trail, is open Wednesdays through Fridays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

For more information about Common Heart go to www.thecommonplace.org or contact Adams at keith@thecommonplace.org.

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