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When President Barack Obama urged Americans to go out into their communities and help their 11-16-11-h&h-stand-down.jpgneighbors, Bishop Larry Wright heeded the call. The result is the 2nd Annual Homeless & Hunger Stand Down on Friday, Nov. 18 at V.F.W. Post 6018 at 116 Chance St. from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. The H & H Stand Down is the largest one-day community event to focus on feeding the hungry in Fayetteville. In 2010, 1,300 residents were served. Event organizers hope to feed more than 1,500 this year.

Wright, the president of the Fayetteville-Cumberland Ministerial Council and the chair for the 2011 H & H Stand Down Committee, worked with Second Harvest Food Bank of Southeast North Carolina, Heal the Land Outreach Ministries, Walmart, 107.7 FM, The Salvation Army and the United Way of Cumberland County to make the event a reality. Wright modeled the H & H Stand Down after Feed Fayetteville, a local organization that feeds the homeless and hungry. He then added local organizations to bring information and resources to people working to rebuld their lives.

The meal is just part of the bigger purpose that Wright hopes to bring to homeless residents.

“We not only want to feed people, but to give them information and build an ongoing relationship with them. They are in need, they’re homeless, they’re struggling. We want to help them build a better quality of life,” he said.

Participants will go through a round robin of organization booths providing information on prescription assistance, medical and dental assistance, housing, identification services, job placement, educational opportunities and VA assistance. After completing the round robin, residents are invited to the free lunch.

Community members are needed to fill a variety of volunteer positions including serving on the lunch line, distributing clothing and coats, helping with parking, security and event set-up and take down. There is also a food drive on to replenish the shelves of Second Harvest Food Bank of Southeast North Carolina. If you can’t volunteer on the day of the event, you can still help by donating blankets, rain coats, umbrellas, sleeping bags, gloves and hygiene items to Second Harvest Food Bank at 406 Deep Creek Rd. Donations will be distributed to residents at the H & H Stand Down.

Wright hopes the Fayetteville business community will get behind the H & H Stand Down. Corporate sponsorships are available. Continuing community support will help the event grow throughout the years. He intends to expand the event to fill the Crown Coliseum one day. Wright took President Obama’s call to action to heart.

“We are one another’s neighbors and we’re here to inspire and serve. We are an All-American city. Working together, we can always achieve more,” he said.

For more information on the 2011 Homeless & Hunger Stand Down, please contact Bishop Larry Wright at 910-568-4276 or Crystal Moore-McNair, Community Impact Director for United Way of Cumberland County at 910-366-4725.

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