Food Lion has donated $500,000 in gift cards to food banks across the state, including Second Harvest, to plug a gap caused by the partial government shutdown. On Tuesday, the state stopped issuing WIC benefits that provide food to low–income women, infants and children because federal funds have run out.
Food Lion spokeswoman Christy Phillips-Brown says the gift cards in $5 increments will supplement food bank supplies that may not include essentials that WIC buys – such as baby formula and diapers.
"Parents are making tough choices: Are they going to buy formula or are they going to pay rent?" says Phillips-Brown. "So we are taking an extra step to help those who may need some additional support during this time."
Food Lion joins a growing trend of private donors stepping up during the shutdown.
A Texas couple is donating $10 million to reopen a number of Head Start programs – including some in the Charlotte area. A nonprofit foundation is paying death benefits for military families who lose a soldier while the government's doors are closed.
And just yesterday, a South Carolina man was mowing the lawn in front of the Lincoln Memorial because he wanted it to look good for an upcoming veteran's march.