From August 8 – 10, 2007, thousands of youth will be in Charlotte to attend the North American Youth Congress 2007 at the Charlotte Bobcat Arena. On Friday, August 10th, from 2:30-5:00pm, they will be spending time intentionally, “giving back” to the city of Charlotte. “Project 22:39” will feature many activities in which students and their sponsors will live out the commandment in Matthew 22:39 – “You shall love your neighbor as yourself”. Activities include beautifying parks, collecting school supplies, clothes collections, and helping feed those in need in our area.
Several months ago, Christa Williams, National Sales Manager with Visit Charlotte, the sales and marketing component of the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority (CRVA), contacted Second Harvest Food Bank Marketing/PR/Special Events Representative Donna B. Ragan in regards to a request from one of her clients – the North American Youth Congress 2007 – this group was eager to find ways that they might be able to give back and help end hunger in our area. “We are looking forward to bringing this event to Bobcats arena for the first time", says Todd Gaddy, UPCI General Youth President. "But instead of just coming and experiencing the city of Charlotte, we want to positively impact the community by giving back in practical and meaningful ways.
When our event is over we want Charlotte to be a better place, and we are already enlisting thousands of students, who will give of their time and energy, to help this happen."
Their first objective was to hold a food drive throughout their conference; they have asked that each attendee bring one canned food item to the Charlotte Bobcat Arena and drop it off to Second Harvest Food Bank representatives who will be on hand each day of the conference.
If each attendee to the there were two additional projects that captured their attention – helping the two groups that were of highest need – children and the elderly in our community and helping ensure that they receive nutritional food. “Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina appreciates the commitment of these students in making a real difference in the battle to end hunger in the Charlotte area,” noted Kay Carter, Executive Director of Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina.
Interested Youth Congress attendees will be packing Kids Café Backpacks to assist Second Harvest Food Bank while helping to feed children in the area. The Kids Cafe Backpack program supplies a backpack full of nutritious, ready to eat or easy to prepare food, that is sent home on weekends and holidays with children at risk of hunger. They might include items such as peanut butter, tuna or chicken, breakfast bars, macaroni and cheese, etc. Kids Cafe staff say that many of the children tell them this is the only source of food that they might receive for the entire weekend. Currently, Second Harvest has 11 Backpack programs and plans to expand the program to all 26 Kids Café sites.
The other project that the North American Youth Congress attendees are going to participate in is packing boxes for the Second Helping program, which supplements the daily nutritious meal received through programs like Meals on Wheels with supplies of easy to open nutritional items such as pull-top tuna, soups, puddings and fruits, and other items. Second Harvest designed this program to help serve one of our most vulnerable citizens – the homebound elderly. Thousands of boxes are delivered monthly in York, Lancaster, Lincoln, Cabarrus and Union Counties.
There will be 30 North American Youth Congress participants packing the Kids Cafe backpacks at Bobcats Arena and the Food Bank will also be hosting 30 youth at the Food Bank during the service project where they will receive a tour of the facility, pack boxes for our Second Helping Seniors program and assist with food sorting.
For more information and/or media opportunities at Second Harvest Food Bank of
Metrolina, please contact Donna B. Ragan, Marketing/PR/Special Events Representative at 704-375-9639, ext. 11 or cell at 704-840-4740.
For more information about media opportunities during the North American Youth
Congress at Bobcats Arena, please contact Jeremy Foster, Media Relations
Representative for the North American Youth Congress at 318-512-7904 or
As part of America’s Second Harvest Network, Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina – one of only six Food Banks in North Carolina – serves 19 counties in North and South Carolina. In 2006-2007 Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina distributed almost 20 million pounds of food and essential grocery items to over 550 hunger feeding agencies as well as to food banks in 13 other counties. Agencies served include emergency pantries, soup kitchens, senior programs, shelters and low-income daycares.