Opinion: Food bank donations should be praised

Cory Spiers

The end of the government shutdown has undoubtedly come as a relief to a great number of people in North Carolina.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, North Carolina has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country at 8.7 percent. When combined with the 16-day shutdown, this high rate means that thousands of people may have had to rely on food banks to feed their families.

To make matters worse, a new state computer system has delayed food stamp applications, causing even more families and individuals to resort to food banks for supplies, according to WBTV in Charlotte.

In the wake of these hardships, Gov. Pat McCrory and Attorney General Roy Cooper have announced that $2.75 million will be released to aid food banks across the state.

McCrory announced that the state would be releasing $750,000 to seven food banks in North Carolina. Cooper later said in a news release that his agency would be sending $2 million to the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina, which will then send out grants across the state.

McCrory, a Republican, and Cooper, a Democrat, have managed to bridge party lines in order to help those who are struggling. Their actions are commendable and should be an example to those of us focused on making everything into a partisan issue.

When families and individuals are suffering, political agendas drop to second place in the line of what is most important.

By allowing North Carolina food banks to choose the items that will stock their shelves, McCrory and Cooper have increased the probability that struggling families will receive some of the more nutritious food items.

“Federal services are not political chess pieces,” McCrory said in a public statement after visiting a food bank in Charlotte. “Real people are being impacted in very real ways.”

He has a great point, and Cooper echoed that sentiment. “Food banks are a lifeline for many people in our state and they need our support,” Cooper said in a public statement.

It is incredibly encouraging to see some of North Carolina’s figureheads stepping up and taking action without pushing a hidden agenda.

Opinion: ERICA BADENCHINI, Opinion writer