While the number of households seeking assistance from Cooperative Christian Ministry is stabilizing after the completion of the N.C. FAST conversion, the number of individuals in those households has increased. During the 2013-14 fiscal year, CCM served 27,008 individuals through the Crisis Center Pantry.
Food Program Manager Barry Porter anticipates that individual clients needing assistance through CCM's food programs will continue to grow. Approximately half of the individual clients served through CCM's feeding programs are under 18 and many do not know from where their next meal will come.
"As household size increases, families are struggling to make ends meet," said Porter. "At the same time, other households are working to rebuild their stability and families have to choose between keeping the power on and buying groceries."
Another strain is added to families as schools let out for the summer and their children, who received free or reduced breakfast or lunch from school, look to parents and guardians for those meals. In Kannapolis City Schools, 74 percent of students qualified for free and reduced lunch – a number that continues to steadily grow each year. In Cabarrus County Schools, 43 percent of students – 11 percent more than the same period the year before – qualified for free and reduced lunch. Studies have found that one in seven children in North Carolina who receives free and reduced price lunch during the school year gets a lunch in the summer. This means six children do not get lunch on a daily basis and their parents and guardians turn to organizations like CCM for assistance.
To help offset the low numbers of non-perishable food items available at the CCM pantries – including 9 satellite pantries and the Crisis Center pantry – CCM is hosting their second annual Summer Food Drive. Non-perishable food items, including canned and boxed goods, can be brought to any of the CCM pantries as well as drop-off locations at businesses throughout the community.
Kannapolis and Concord Cannon Pharmacy locations; Concord and Kannapolis F&M Bank branch locations; and the Concord-Kannapolis Independent Tribune will be drop-off locations for food items this summer. Simply bring non-perishable food items to these businesses to help refill the pantries at CCM. Glass jars are not recommended, due to the possibility of breakage during transport.
In conjunction with the Summer Food Drive, CCM is also hosting two special challenges. The Kids CAN too! challenge offers kids the chance to raise 100 cans of food and receive a special prize by bringing them to the CCM Crisis Center. The 1,000 Can Challenge is being offered to churches to raise 1,000 cans of food for CCM through their congregations.
The 2014 drop-off locations for the CCM Summer Food Drive are:
- F&M Bank, 2975 Dale Earnhardt Blvd., Kannapolis
- F&M Bank, 635 Church St. N., Concord
- Cannon Pharmacy, Kannapolis Main, 1706 S. Cannon Blvd., Kannapolis
- Cannon Pharmacy, Kannapolis North, 1402 N. Cannon Blvd., Kannapolis
- Cannon Pharmacy, Concord, 760 Cabarrus Ave. W., Concord
- Independent Tribune, 363 Church St. N., Ste. 140, Concord
Also drop off canned goods at these City of Kannapolis events:
- July 11 – Movies in the Park featuring "Frozen" (PG), Village Park, 700 West C St. beginning at approximately 8:45 p.m.
- August 16 – Summer Concert Series featuring Too Much Sylvia with fireworks, Village Park, 700 West C St. beginning at 7 p.m.
CCM Food Pantries will also be accepting food donations. Locations and hours are: