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'Everyone can do their own part' | Charlotte teen running 26 miles in 26 hours to raise money for food pantry

Colin Shaver is hoping to raise $5,000 -- which will provide 5,000 meals to the community.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Step by step, cheer by cheer, Colin Shaver is on a mission. Like many teens, the 16-year-old has been couped up in his Charlotte house for weeks.

"My runs are my free time away from my family," Shaver said.

But that's not the main reason he's running 26 miles in 26 hours. Each step he makes is for a purpose.

He's set out to complete the straining feat in hopes of helping Loaves and Fishes feed so many in need.

"Demand for food at this time is through the roof," Tina Postel, executive director of Loaves and Fishes, said.

The non-profit usually serves a thousand families a week at 20 mobile locations throughout Mecklenburg County, but last week they served 3,500 families — tripling their usual amount.

RELATED: Charlotte food pantry asking for monetary donations during coronavirus pandemic

To help out, Shaver is hoping to raise $5,000 -- which will provide 5,000 meals to the community.

It started as a school project on coronavirus research — Shaver found the Charlotte community was being hit hard. He found that many were out of work and he wanted to help in some kind of way.

He remembered taking field trips to Loaves and Fishes when he was younger and knew the crucial work they were doing to help the community.

"I didn't really like the idea that people had to choose whether to put food on their family's table or pay rent," he said. "That just shouldn't be a choice that people have to make, especially right now."

RELATED: 800K NC children to receive $250 in additional food benefits

He says he hopes he can reach his running goal, but even if his pace slows, his sense of generosity won't.

"Everyone can do their own part to help," Shaver said.

He plans on finishing his 26.2 miles Wednesday afternoon. As the Charlotte community seems to be on a marathon of their own, Shaver is doing his part to step up and help.

Shaver said he was thankful for all of the support of his neighbors and friends cheering him on, as well as those who donate.

If you'd like to help Shaver out on his goal, a GoFundMe page has been set up for the cause. 

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