GREENSBORO, N.C. — Statistics show 1 in 9 people struggle with hunger in the U.S. The coronavirus pandemic is making matters worse as people stand in miles-long food lines every day in need of a warm meal. According to Feeding America, 50 million people may face hunger across the nation, including more than 17 million children, due to the COVID-19 crisis.
Downtown Greensboro Incorporated needs your help to feed the homeless during the holiday season. DGI is an economic development organization focused on stimulating investment and activity in the center city. The organization is currently focused on fighting hunger through a "12 Days of Meals" fundraiser.
Funds raised through the campaign will help cover the cost of 250 meals per day for the first 12 days in the month of December to be distributed by Greensboro Urban Ministry to those in need. The costs of the meals will also include a 20-percent gratuity for the restaurants tasked with making the meals.
"We believe the 2020 holiday season means supporting our neighbors now more than ever," says Stacy Calfo, Director of Marketing for DGI. "This campaign aims to do just that by not only supporting those less fortunate in the community but also providing much-needed support to our downtown restaurants."
The Wyndham Championship donated $5,000 to kick-off the fundraising campaign.
“The Greensboro community has been so supportive of us for more than 80 years,” said Mark Brazil, Tournament Director. “It’s our privilege to provide warm meals to those in need in our community this winter.”
So far, the following downtown restaurants have pledged their support to provide meals: 1618 Downtown, Acropolis, Baked Downtown, Blue Denim, Cheesecakes by Alex, Chez Genese, Cincy's, Crafted, Dames Chicken and Waffles, Deep Roots Market, Ghassan's, Heavenly Buffaloes, Jerusalem Market, Liberty Oak, Los Chicos, MACHETE, Manny's Universal Cafe, Mellow Mushroom, Midori, Natty Greene's, Undercurrent, and White and Wood.
"We give out food in two ways. One is groceries. You come and apply for that. But, if you want a hot meal, no questions are asked,” said Chris Ringuette, communications and marketing manager with Greensboro Urban Ministry. “You just show up at lunch time and we will feed you. Before COVID-19, we were feeding about 600 people. We are seeing people we have never seen before since the coronavirus hit. A lot people for the first time are experiencing the need to find help with food and a relief for their family hunger.”
As part of the charitable campaign, DGI launched a Go Fund Me page to help raise 36,000 dollars to purchase and distribute meals to the homeless. So far, the organization has raised about 19,000 dollars.
"We serve food from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. every day, right on Gate City Boulevard in the back of our building,” said Ringuette. “All you have to do is just walk up and grab a meal. Because of downtown Greensboro, we’re able to provide holiday meals for 12 days. Think of how many people that is.”