GREENSBORO, NC – In 2016, 139,923 free lunches were served to people suffering from food insecurity and hunger through Potter’s House Community Kitchen.

The kitchen, a branch of Greensboro Urban Ministry, serves 400 lunches daily to the unemployed, homeless and others in the community. And it’s possible because folks decided to dine out for the night.

Every year, restaurants partner with Greensboro Urban Ministry for the Serving Greensboro Together event. This year, over 100 restaurants participated, donating 10 percent of their sales on May 2nd to support the non-profit.

According to the the 2014 Hunger in America Study, one in four children experience food insecurity.  The same study shows one in five adults also suffer from food insecurity. 

To put it simply, “If you don’t go out to eat, someone else may not be able to eat.”

That’s the best way Darrell Campbell could describe what the donations mean to Urban Ministry.

“You go out to have a meal and the meal you have with the money that you spend at whichever restaurant is participating in this, you provide a meal for an individual and a family,” said Campbell.

For 25 years, Campbell was that individual needing a meal.

“I came in here pretty much every day for 25 years to get my meals. I lived here on and off for 25 years.”

Campbell struggled with drugs and alcohol and never thought he would be in the position he is now.

“It was the grace of God. He was able to sit me down long enough to get me clean and sober.”

Campbell started working for Urban Ministry in 2006. He’s now the Director of Food Distribution for Potter’s House and the Greensboro Urban Ministry Warehouse.

“It shows me that through God, everything is truly possible,” Campbell explained. “I know what that struggle is every day to wake and want to do something different but you have something in your life that you continue to allow to do something different. Like spend your whole day looking for drugs and alcohol.”

Not everyone who walks through the doors of Potter’s is dealing with addiction. Many are simply unemployed and struggling to pay bills. But, for those who come in contact with Campbell, walking down the same path he was once on, he takes time to stop and let them know there is another way.

READ: Dine Out to Fight Hunger

“Some of them are who was out there almost 12 years ago and they are still in that struggle but I let them all know, when you’re ready, He’s ready. All you have to do is give up and surrender. When you surrender, your life will get better. I guarantee it.”

In 2016, more than $31,500 was raised for Serving Greensboro Together.  Since the event started in 1993, community restaurants have contributed more than $500,000!

The event continues until each restaurants closes on May 2nd. If you missed the event, and want to know how to donate, visit Greensboro Urban Ministry website.