CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) – Hendrick Automotive Group and its team members will make a $602,500 gift to support 27 food banks located within the company’s 13 states of operation.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Hendrick Automotive Group this year held a virtual Thanksgiving drive, which marked its first holiday hunger effort powered by employee financial contributions.
Team members in 93 dealerships, 26 collision centers, four accessories distributor installers and support offices across the United States raised more than $270,000 during a six-week period beginning in early September. The company matched all employee contributions dollar-for-dollar and made an additional corporate gift of more than $60,000 to bring the total donation to over $600,000.
The 2020 Thanksgiving program will support Hendrick Automotive Group’s 27 partner food banks across the country in their efforts to purchase and distribute meals, provide much-needed supplies and offer personal protective equipment for nearly 2 million people during the holidays.
Hunger initiatives have been central to Hendrick Automotive Group’s community outreach since 2001. The company has hosted 29 holiday meal drive programs in which team members have served the community by purchasing, packing and distributing more than 1 million pounds of food to feed over 160,000 people.
“The servant hearts of our team members are incredibly inspiring,” said Rick Hendrick, chairman and CEO of Hendrick Automotive Group. “We believe that caring about people and coming together to help our neighbors in need are what defines us as a company. This year, we made an adjustment to our annual hunger initiative due to the pandemic, and our team responded in a resounding way. Thanks to their generosity, we are able to support our food bank partners and help more people during the holidays than ever before.”
One of the donations went to longstanding food bank partner Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina located in Charlotte, North Carolina.
“There is nothing that could have prepared us for COVID-19,” said Kay Carter, CEO, Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina. “It has been the most challenging time for me in the 17 years I have been at the food bank. What makes me so proud is that because of partners like Hendrick (Automotive Group), we have been able to continue to keep providing programs like school-based mobile pantries. We’ve increased the number of meal back packs and have exponentially increased the amount of fresh produce, dairy and meat we are distributing.”
Additional partner food banks receiving donations: Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina (Raleigh, North Carolina), Lowcountry Food Bank (Charleston, South Carolina), Harvesters (Kansas City), Community Food Bank of Central Alabama (Hoover), Southeast Gwinnett Co-op (Duluth, Georgia), North Gwinnett Co-op (Buford, Georgia), Streetwise (Atlanta), Second Harvest Food Bank of Southeastern North Carolina (Fayetteville), Interfaith Food Shuttle (Durham, North Carolina), Alameda County Community Food Bank (Pleasanton, California), Food Bank of Southeastern Virginia (Norfolk), Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina (Greensboro), Feeding Tampa Bay (Florida), Central Texas Food Bank (Austin), Feeding