'Feed the Children' aim at newly-poor in Charlotte

In what may end up being one of the largest single afternoons of charity in city history, the international relief group Feed the Children plans to give out $1.4 million in food and hygiene products on March 20 at The Park Expo Center on Independence Boulevard.

And it intends to do it in just three hours.

So massive is the effort, Feed the Children has asked for help from the Salvation Army of Greater Charlotte and from The Park Ministries, which owns the center formerly known as the Merchandise Mart. Their jobs: Find 3,200 families to receive the food and another 200 volunteers to give it out.

Registration for families runs Tuesday through Thursday, and organizers say their goal is to reach out to people who are new to poverty.

"We're trying to find that demographic of people that might not think they'd normally qualify to receive food," said Salvation Army spokesman Jim Price.

"These could be people who just recently lost jobs, or they still have jobs, but they're struggling month-to-month to meet their obligations," Price said.

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