Nourishing Our Communities Is Our Calling - Matthew Johnson
MEET MATTHEW JOHNSON,.FOOD LION PRODUCE MANAGER IN CHARLOTTE, N.C. THIS IS HIS STORY:
Why is hunger relief important to you?
Hunger relief is very important to me, personally. When I was younger I didn’t have the most solid family background as far as money is concerned. Sometimes we had to look to our local community for help and someone was always there. I grew up with a single mother who had four boys and I remember when I was little taking rides with my mom to the church and picking food up. She would pick up food for us and also deliver food to some of our neighbors. She was getting help and she wanted to give back also. Seeing that growing up really an impact on me here, because I know I can finally give back what I was getting when I was a kid.
Why is it important for you to give back to your community?
It’s important to give back to my community because I have been given to a lot in my past. If there was a program like the Food Rescue program when I was younger, I think it would have been wonderful. Sometimes you’re eating things to put food in your stomach just to get some energy. But, to actually get something fresh that is filled with essential vitamins and nutrients, it means a lot. Food Lion Feeds’ food rescue program is another way Food Lion shows up every day in the local community, and I’m proud to play a role in it.
Can you explain the food rescue program to me?
Food Lion Feeds’ food rescue program is all about giving back to the community. Instead of throwing out things that the store would normally dispose of, whether it is something out of code or with blemishes, we pack it up and donate it to a local feeding organization to feed our neighbors in need. This happens daily and we have an assigned organization to come and pick up the food. There are a lot of local neighbors out there that don’t have access to food so instead of just throwing everything out, we are giving back to the community. We’re just trying to help however we can.
What is the importance of the food rescue program and why is it needed in the community?
Just seeing the organizations come in and how grateful they are, you know the people they are feeding are feeling the same way Knowing you’ve changed someone’s life for just a day means a lot to me. The importance of the food rescue program is around giving back to our neighbors and Food Lion has always been big part of helping everybody out. There are people out there who are starving. There is no point in throwing out edible and nutritious foods. Your neighbor might not know where your next meal is coming from but you at least know there is someone out there that can help you out. Food insecurity, especially in Charlotte, is important because it is a big, growing city and there are a lot of people.
Why are you proud to work at Food Lion?
It feels excellent to work for an organization that not only cares for our neighbors, but also gives back to the community. Food Lion wants to help anyone they can within our local towns and cities. We’re a big part of the community. The impact Food Lion Feeds has had is tremendous, and you can see how grateful our community partners are when they come in to pick up the donations. They are truly very happy that Food Lion is helping them out. Also, everyone you work with kind of feels like family, and cares for each other. Not only do we look out for each other as associates, but we look out for our customers and our community.