Volunteering & Giving
July 16, 2015

Backpacks full of food fill hungry kids’ stomachs in summer

Second Harvest Food Bank feeds hungry kids in North Carolina and South Carolina through its backpack program — with help from Wells Fargo volunteers.

In the 19 counties in North Carolina and South Carolina that nonprofit Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina serves, about 518,000 people live at or below poverty level, says Kay Carter, chief executive officer. About 180,000 of those are children.

“One out of four children in our region is living in poverty,” Kay says. “That’s eye opening. If a child is not attending a year-round school, the meals they’ve been depending on are missing when they’re not in school, and that puts extra stress on struggling families.”

Volunteers filled the bags with canned goods and snacks.
Carrying bags for the Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina
Wells Fargo volunteers before stuffing the stagecoach with food.
Volunteers filled the bags with canned goods and snacks.
Wells Fargo’s Johnny Hurst carries food bags during the Charlotte event.
Wells Fargo volunteers before they participate in “stuffing the stagecoach” with food.

To help meet that need for food, Second Harvest’s backpack program provides nutritious, ready-to-eat or easy-to-prepare foods that are sent home with children at risk of hunger on weekends, holidays, and during the summer.

In early June, about 300 Wells Fargo team members in Charlotte, North Carolina, packed 2,000 bags with food for Second Harvest to give to children through the backpack program. The bags included raisins, peanut butter, canned chicken, vegetable soup, spaghetti and meatballs, and fruit cereal bars.

“Every one of these backpacks will go into the hands of a child who needs that food to avoid going hungry,” Kay says. “That’s an amazing gift.”

Ryan Hong, a market growth and development consultant for Wells Fargo, says it was exciting to see so many team members participating.

“It’s rewarding to give back and collaborate with other team members,” Ryan says. “As a community, we need to come together and do what we can.”

Kendall Alley, Community Banking regional president for Wells Fargo, also said: “We believe as a company that we are responsible for promoting the long-term economic prosperity and quality of life for everyone in our local communities. Today is a perfect example of how that works.”

Other team members said they were excited to help.

Eugene Brown, a legal counsel for Wells Fargo, says, “As a father, I honestly can’t imagine waking up every day knowing that I don’t have resources to provide for my child. This event is just another reason why I work for Wells Fargo.”

Kay says the event occurred at the perfect time for the food bank.

“We have such a high need in the summer,” Kay says. “This is just a huge shot in the arm.”

Watch the video produced by Marcus Owens to hear more about the need and see team members stuff a Wells Fargo stagecoach with the bags of food.