CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- There’s a lot things Jeff Stegall could find to do on a rainy Saturday in Charlotte, including staying inside.
Saturday Stegall worked a forklift from his family business moving pallets loaded with food into a trailer sitting outside the Trinity Presbyterian church on Providence road.
Boy Scouts carried brown paper bags filled with food donations to be emptied, then sorted, and weighed. The same scene played out in nine other areas around Mecklenburg County.
Stegall donates his time and forklifts for the week as part of the annual kickoff of Loaves and Fishes called “Scouting for Food.”
“There are people less fortunate than we are. We’re glad that we can help them. I think if the entire community would choose not just Loaves and Fishes, but any (food bank) and do their part it would be a much better place.” Stegall said as he sat on one of his forklifts.
Earlier this week Mecklenburg County Boy Scout troops went around neighborhoods handing out bags for people to donate food items.
Saturday was the day for them to bring in what they’d collected. Some families like the Grahams drove up to drop off their donation.
Will Graham said, “It’s just a way of helping to give back to the community, and helping those in need and those who need the food to help them get by.”
Every year since 1993, the Mecklenburg County Boy Scouts of America have partnered with Loaves and Fishes to help collect non-perishable food items. Saturday they did so in the rain.
“These guys are an incredible group of young men who have decided in this day in the rain to make a difference in the lives of people.” said one mother, who helped the scouts during the food collections.
Loaves and Fishes supports 19 food pantries in Mecklenburg County for families who are experiencing a short term crisis.
In 2011, Loaves and fishes fed a record 114,177 people. Nearly half of which, 48 percent, were children.