MONROE – The Community Shelter of Union County will hold a candlelight vigil to bring awareness to local homelessness and hunger. The event will also honor local homeless residents who died this year.
The public is invited to attend the annual event at 7 p.m. Nov. 12 in the government plaza.
“This is a season when many of us think about what we are thankful for,” CEO Kathy Bragg said. “It’s a perfect time to recognize that others don’t have the bounties that we have and to share our compassion with those who are experiencing hunger or homelessness.”
The shelter invites vigil attendees to bring food for grocery boxes that will go to residents experiencing food shortages.
Melissa McKeown, chief operating officer, said October was a busy month for food box distribution. She expects the need to keep rising.
“We gave out 294 food boxes, or 43% more than our monthly average last year,” McKeown said. “Each was filled with staple products valued at $100 or more and most included fresh meat and vegetables. We rely on donor contributions to fill the boxes – we give them what we have been given.”
Needed items include canned vegetables, fruit, soup, tuna or chicken; dried beans, rice, spaghetti and Ramen noodles; cereal, grits and oatmeal plus macaroni and cheese or Hamburger Helper.
Drop them off at the vigil or to the facility at 160 Meadow St., Monroe any day from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. The shelter asks that you avoid mealtimes of 8 a.m., noon and 6 p.m.
Union Academy will provide light refreshments for vigil attendees.
Last year, the shelter provided 54,547 prepared meals in the dining hall, 18,435 nights of emergency shelter for single adults and families plus emergency food boxes for 2,483 individuals.
Visit www.UnionShelter.org or call 704-289-5300 for details.