Nourishing Our Communities is Our Calling – Mary J Mee
Meet Mary J Mee, Food Lion Category Analyst. This is her story:
Why is it important for you to give back to your community?
It is important for me to give back my time because Ibelieve we all play a part in the success of the community in which we live. The more we can do for them by providing our talents and resources, the more we can make our own communities a better place to live and thrive for all of our neighbors.
Why is hunger relief important to you?
Hunger relief is important to me because it is a legacy in my family. I grew up hearing stories about my grandfather, who owned a grocery store in a small town in Tennessee. People would come in that didn’t have money at that time to buy groceries and he would let them buy on credit knowing that he may never get paid for those groceries. But he was good with that because he didn’t want his neighbors to go hungry. He was just that kind of man. He wanted everybody to be able to eat because he knew what it was like trying to feed a family. He had a large family himself. They did all they could to put food on their table so he wanted to make sure all his neighbors had food on their table. I could see how people felt about him when they told that story and it really instilled in me the importance of giving back and to make sure everybody is able to nourish their families.
How does volunteering make you feel?
Volunteering just makes you feel good. Food Lion always gives me the opportunity to go out and volunteer in my community. I get to come to Time Out Youth and help stock their pantry as well as provide gift cards so the kids can go buy their own groceries and be secure that they don’t need to worry about where their next meal is coming from. I also volunteer at Rowan Helping Ministries in Salisbury, N.C., and prepare and serve meals. Any place I go, it is just nice to see the smiles on those people’s faces when you walk in and know that you have helped make a difference in their day.
How does Food Lion Feeds show up in the volunteer work you do?
Food Lion Feeds is in all of our communities, especially in the LGBT community. We have offered food grants to ALFA and Loving Food Resources, which are support groups for those living with HIV and AIDS. Food Lion Feeds continues to be a supporter of Time Out Youth by providing them with product and gift cards. We have also organized food drives at several Pride events across our footprint to ensure all our neighbors are nourished.
Why are you proud to work for Food Lion?
There is such a feeling of pride to work for Food Lion and knowing they truly are an organization that gives back to the towns and cities they serve. It is great feeling when you are out and someone asks you “Where do you work?” and I say Food Lion. They always respond with how wonderful Food Lion is and how much they give back to organizations in their local community. It just makes you feel really proud that the community thinks so highly of Food Lion. They believe in the diversity of their associates and they believe in the diversity of the communities they serve and they want to support all of those groups. Whatever it is, Food Lion is always there.