Hornets Players, Coaches Take Part in Food Lion’s Backpack for Hunger

by Sam Perley

The 2020-21 NBA season schedule has prevented the Charlotte Hornets’ players and coaches from participating in a number of their normal off-the-court community events, although they were finally able to pitch in recently for the organization’s Backpack for Hunger initiative presented by Food Lion.

Following practice and in conjunction with Food Lion – the Official Hunger Relief partner of the Charlotte Hornets – more than 3,000 backpacks were packed at Spectrum Center for local children facing food insecurity. Each backpack contained eight ready-to-eat nutritious food items for weekends and holidays when school-provided meals would be inaccessible.

“Especially during the pandemic, there’s a lot of need out there, especially for kids,” said Hornets center Cody Zeller. “So, the Hornets and Food Lion can give them some meals. Usually, we get to see people, kids and a lot of the community here at these appearances, but because of COVID, we’re doing it behind closed doors. Hopefully it can still have the same kind of impact.”

These 3,000 backpacks will be distributed to mobile school sites in the local area over the next two months. Hunger awareness is one of the organization’s four main community pillars, along with education, military and wellness.

“We’re helping kids with food insecurity,” added Miles Bridges. “I love helping kids. It’s important for me because one time I was a kid that had food insecurities, so I want to help other kids who can’t find food or who are struggling to find food. I feel like it’s important to help the community during the pandemic because a lot of people are struggling right now.”

This particular partnership between the Hornets and Food Lion Feeds will benefit Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina. Food Lion Feeds has provided the local community with a long-term commitment to end hunger and food insecurities.

“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,” said Sabrina Elliott, Director of Charlotte’s East Region for Food Lion. “Charlotte is balancing not only hunger, but also homelessness. 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.”

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