While there might be a handful of off-the-court restrictions in place across the 2020-21 regular season NBA schedule, that hasn’t prevented the Hornets from recently helping out the community in a big way thanks to Food Lion and some thrilling play on the hardwood.
Throughout April, the organization and Food Lion – the Official Hunger Relief partner of the Charlotte Hornets – collaborated to donate 1,000 meals to Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina for every dunk the Hornets accounted for across this time frame. On Wednesday, April 28th in Boston, the team threw down a monthly-game high of 11 slams, bringing the grand total to 78 for the month and 78,000 donated meals.
“I think that the Dunk Hunger program is unique because it has two parts,” said Sabrina Elliott, Director of Operations for Charlotte’s East Region for Food Lion. “There’s the on-the-court portion where throughout the entire month of April, for every dunk that the Hornets team member makes, Food Lion will donate one thousand meals.”
She added, “[And from] April 14-27, we gave our customers an opportunity to also donate and pitch in to help minimize and eliminate hunger within our community. [Customers were] able to come into our stores, select different items from our shelves and actually put them in a cart. That donation went to our Second Harvest Food Bank partner to support and eliminate hunger within our community.”
Unsurprisingly, the April dunk leader was Miles Bridges with 22, many of which ended up going viral on social media or found their way onto SportsCenter’s Top 10 Plays. Cody Zeller (13), PJ Washington (12) and Jalen McDaniels (10) were also in double figures, followed by Bismack Biyombo (7), Cody Martin (6), Terry Rozier (3), Caleb Martin (2), Brad Wanamaker (1), Vernon Carey Jr. (1) and Nick Richards (1).
“It’s always fun to dunk, but to know that you’re dunking for something bigger than basketball is comforting to me,” said Bridges. “I’m happy that the Hornets and Food Lion could help all those people out and have fun doing it.” Dunk Hunger is also just one of the many programs within Food Lion Feeds, a year-long initiative dedicated to fighting food insecurity throughout the community.
“There are several initiatives throughout the year that Food Lion is heavily involved in and supporting schools, colleges and food banks is something that we do year-round,” Elliott explained. “We’re passionate in helping solve hunger today, insuring that our customers do not have to choose between paying for dinner and rent, or gasoline and buying groceries. Food Lion is seeking to unite our community, our customers and our associates to eliminate hunger and that difficult choice some families have to make every day.”
She added, “We set out to make sure we have about one billion more meals in 2025 and we’re about a quarter of a way to our goal. I think that Food Lion Feeds is important to the community like Charlotte because the city is balancing not only hunger, but also homelessness. As part of the initiative, it supports our local food banks, local schools, local colleges. This is just one way we can contribute to our community to not only eliminate hunger, but to also be a pillar in supporting the local community as well.”