Hunger hurts. We saw it. It was on the faces of many who drove through The Big Pop Up event held a few weeks ago. We saw the tears of honest gratefulness from many who received food that day. We hear it in the voices of those who continue to call to see if there is any food left. Hunger hurts and we must continue to work towards eliminating it and its root cause – poverty.

The Big Pop Up event helped people for a few days. That was a good thing, and I am humbled by the community support we had as we planned and delivered this signature event. There is no way we could have succeeded and helped so many without the generous contributions (financial, supplies, volunteers, etc.) from our friends, including:

Ace Transport of Harmony
Ballantyne Insurance
BlueCross BlueShield of North Carolina
C & C Plumbing
C & J Associates (Signal Hill Mall)
Case Farms
Carolina Complete Health
Cheney Brothers – Statesville
Eastside Foods
Energy United
Hospice of Iredell County
Individual private donors
Iredell Christian Ministries
Maymead of Statesville
Mutual of America
NCDHHS – Office of Economic Opportunity
North Carolina Community Action Association
Piedmont HealthCare
Randy Marion
Salvation Army of Statesville
United Way of Iredell County
Walmart of Statesville

A big thank you also is extended to the nearly 200 volunteers and community organizations who brought their enthusiasm, energy, smiles, and hearts to help make this event successful. A special shout-out to Elias Crowder and the South Iredell High School Beta Club for their invaluable pre-event contributions.

At the end of the day, hunger still exists. The needs remain great in our community. Even for the gentleman who was so moved by the generosity that day that he donated $9 to pay it forward, hunger is likely still an issue.

Poverty is a dreadful circumstance. Hunger is one of its symptoms. Please join I-CARE Community Action in our commitment to fight against the conditions of poverty and for the dismantling of systems that have helped to create and sustain impoverished communities. As a community and nation, we have to. We must.

Bryan Duncan is the executive director of I-CARE Community Action, located at 1415 Shelton Avenue in Statesville. Learn more at

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