One of the recipient families shows off the bag that can be filled with groceries from nearby Food Lion store No. 971.

The Mint supports a donor’s desire to give back

By Rubie Britt-Height, Director of Community Relations

The Mint Museum recently provided over $2,000 in gift cards and reusable Food Lion grocery bags to families in need during the COVID-19 pandemic. Funded by an anonymous donor and Food Lion Stores, the cards were given to families of the students of the museum’s 16-year old Grier Heights Community Youth Arts Program, and to members in the west Charlotte community.

A generous gift of $1,500 was given by an anonymous donor to purchase 50 Food Lion cards in denominations of $35, $25, and $20 at the north Wendover Road Food Lion store near the Grier Heights community. The Mint shared the effort with Millette Granville, vice president of talent, diversity and inclusion, learning and organizational development for Food Lion, a U.S. division of Zaandam-based Royal Ahold Delhaize Group. The company quickly responded with an additional $500 in $25 gift cards, two cases of reusable tote bags to help the family recipients, and facilitation with store No. 971 to process the cards.

Each family received a tote bag, gift card, and note from the Mint Museum.

“As a child, I grew up in similar challenging yet overcoming circumstances in a Charlotte housing project. I want to give back, and see that the students and families have access to having their temporal needs met, as well as to education and memorable experiences,” wrote the anonymous donor. “You all are doing good community work at the museum and I knew you could successfully facilitate our desire to help families who are trying to hold it together.”

The donations not only helped the Grier Heights community, it supported families of the McCrorey YMCA after-school program and citizens temporarily displaced at two YMCA camps in west Charlotte.  Thirty bags and cards were delivered to the McCrorey YMCA, led by Executive Director Dena Jones, a former Mint docent and student of retired Mint master art teacher Rita Schumaker. Jones noted the great need of families there and those displaced.” These 30 cards and bags will be a blessing to them all, and we appreciate it. Hunger is real, even in Charlotte,” Jones says.

The Mint’s program teen team leader Alex Brown and her mother, Stacey Price Brown, PhD, president of the Grier Heights Community Improvement Organization, have deep roots in the community. They delivered the 43 bags to families during Mother’s Day weekend.

Mint Museum Community Youth Arts Program teen leader Alex Brown delivers a Food Lion tote bag and gift card to a family.

“The Grier Heights community embraces four core values: self-sufficiency, education, empowerment and family! Through our partnership with the Mint Museum you empower our families to educate themselves about their history, their cultures and their health so that they can be model citizens of self-sufficiency for themselves, their families and their communities. Through this COVID-19 pandemic, you have not stopped honoring our community’s core values by sharing care packages, Food Lion gift cards and inspiring messages to empower and educate our families to stay safe and healthy,” Brown says. “We are very thankful for partnerships and neighbors like you who have invested in our community for over 15 years, and the return on your investment has produced many youth and families who are healthier individuals mentally, physically and emotionally so that they, collectively, can go into our society making it a more livable, equitable and just place.”

Dr. Stacey Price Brown, president of the Grier Heights Community Improvement Association, gets ready to deliver 43 Food Lion tote bags and gift cards within the community.