It’s the holiday season, which means it’s time for turkey and baked goods and presents and family and football. But the end of the year also signals what, for many, is a season of intentional generosity. As many Charlotteans contemplate how to donate their time, resources, or money over the holidays—and hopefully beyond—we have assembled our annual list of local charities deserving your attention.
This year, we’ve chosen to focus on organizations feeding our city. A staggering number of Charlotteans who food-insecure, either due to lack of income or lack of accessibility. Fortunately, a plethora of organizations are ready to lend a hand in Charlotte and the surrounding areas.
Dilworth Soup Kitchen
Located inside First Christian Church, Dilworth Soup Kitchen serves an average of 150 restaurant style, multiple course meals over the course of an hour every Monday. There are no requirements to dine at Dilworth Soup Kitchen. Here, the goal is as much about providing free meals as it is about fostering fellowship among volunteers and guests. The nonprofit welcomes donations and volunteers, who can serve during meal service on Mondays or assist with prep during weekends.
Second Harvest Metrolina
Second Harvest Metrolina serves 14 counties in North Carolina and five counties in South Carolina, distributing 55 million pounds of food and other household items each year. By soliciting donations and managing a regional distribution warehouse, Second Harvest Metrolina is able to keep partner agencies, emergency pantries, homeless shelters, and low-income daycares stocked with food. Second Harvest Metrolina accepts donations of food, money, and time from individuals, groups, and businesses.
Hearts & Hands Food Pantry
As a faith-based organization, Hearts & Hands provides temporary and emergency food relief to families in Charlotte, Huntersville, Davidson, Mooresville, and Concord. This nascent nonprofit supplies food items, personal care items, and clothes to anyone in need. Neighbors are invited to visit monthly to stock up on supplies. Hearts & Hands soon hopes to host classes and workshops for their clientele as their organization grows. They invite people to donate as they’re able, and a list of needed supplies is available on their website.
Community Food Rescue is a national organization that strives to redirect perfectly good food from overflowing landfills to sparse cupboards. Although based in Asheville, Food Connection also operates in Black Mountain, Swannanoa, and Charlotte. It collects and transports fresh meals from Johnson and Wales University, Queens University, and Belmont Abbey College to St. John’s Place, The Salvation Army, and Catherine’s House.
Angels and Sparrows
In 2007, Sandy Tilley quit her corporate job in order to meet the need she perceived in the Lake Norman area for services aiding the homeless and low-income. She opened Angels and Sparrows, named with the Biblical verses Matthew 6:26 and Matthew 10:29 in mind and began to serve people of all faiths and backgrounds, offering free lunch on weekdays, as well as bagged lunches during the summer for children who receive free or reduced lunches during the school year. Angels and Sparrows welcomes volunteers over the age of 18 who are prepared to treat guests with kindness and dignity. They also invite locals to donate food as needed.
Charlotte Rescue Mission
Charlotte Rescue Mission is a Christian organization that helps individuals overcome the cycles of homelessness and addiction. The organization manages two residential programs – Rebound for men and Dove’s Nest for women. The programs are staffed by Christians professionally trained in substance abuse recovery. To help feed residents in the midst of treatment, Charlotte Rescue Mission relies on the assistance of volunteers seven days a week.