Food Lion is More Than a Grocery Store – it’s Part of My Town
Johnathan is like most federal employees.
He works hard, likes his job and does what he needs to do to support his family.
He gets up every morning at 4:15 a.m. to make a three-hour commute from Virginia to his job in Washington, D.C. After working a full day it’s time for another three-hour commute back home.
But lately it’s been hard for him to focus.
“I have not received a paycheck since Dec. 24,” he said Saturday afternoon standing beside his wife at a food distribution in the parking lot of the Food Lion in Thornburg, Va. “We thought I would get a full paycheck this week, but instead I only received half of my first paycheck that was due to me back in December.” His wife added that their family never expected that it would have to go to a food bank or their local grocery store for help.
Hopefully the help Johnathan received from Food Lion on Saturday will help the situation.
Joining with the food bank Fredericksburg Regional Food Bank, Food Lion Feeds distributed more than $3,000 in gift cards to federal workers and their families along with a bag of nutritious food, which was collected through an in-store food drive on Jan. 19.
Another woman, who identified herself as Jennifer, walked up and identified herself as a federal worker by unzipping her jacket. She was still wearing her federal badge.
“It was real hard when the shutdown happened,” Jennifer said. “I don’t know what we would have done if it wasn’t for my husband. Now we are bracing for Feb. 15, I hope we don’t have to go through this again.” When offered the donation, Jennifer became emotional.
Evangelist Charita Mariner of Zion Church of Fredericksburg, one of the food bank’s local feeding agencies in the area, was on hand at the Thornburg event just to help.
“This is what we do – help people here in community,” she said. “We are so happy to partner with Food Lion because our church is just down the road.”
Dressed in pink hat, shirt and jacket in 30-degree weather, Mariner recorded the event on Facebook Live as a way to show the partnership’s impact on the local community.
Meanwhile, earlier in the day, the scene was similar at the Food Lion Store in Pasadena, Md. Several individuals received gift cards and food and personally thanked Food Lion associates and Maryland Food Bank staff.
One man who identified himself as a veteran walked up not to take anything, but instead to give.
He saw the large Maryland Food Bank truck and the Food Lion Feeds food boxes displayed on several tables. Once staff told him about the free distribution, he pulled out $100 in cash from his pocket and donated it to help.
It was a fitting example of caring for community, and for Food Lion, it was important to be right in the middle of it give back to our neighbors in the towns and cities we serve