Thanksgiving is about more than just turkey, football, parades and card games. It’s about being thankful for what you have, and giving back to those struggling the most.
If that sounds like you, consider hitting up one of the following food banks in North Carolina in the coming days. Each was ranked among the top 40 in America on Tuesday by the financial news and opinion site 24/7 Wall St.
Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina
If you’re looking for other volunteer and donation opportunities, here are some you might also consider.
Habitat for Humanity of Charlotte
About 40 million people lived in food-insecure households last year, including 6.5 million children, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service. This means that 12 percent of the country at some point lived in a place where they were “uncertain of having, or unable to acquire, enough food to meet the needs of all their members” due to lack of money and other resources.
The prevalence of food insecurity is highest in the South and lowest in the Northeast, according to the USDA. In North Carolina, it was above the national average from 2015-17.
The 24/7 Wall St. food bank rankings were based on ratings calculated by the site Charity Navigator, an organization that assesses charities for accountability, transparency and financial health.
Food banks typically don’t give out food themselves. Rather, they collect and distribute food to smaller hunger-relief charities, according to the organization Feeding America. This usually includes basic provisions and non-perishable items.
Food pantries, meanwhile, are the arms that reach out into communities directly, particularly those that need the most support.