Governor Roy Cooper today visited the Make a Difference Food Pantry, a nonprofit founded by 12-year-old Mackenzie Hinson which is helping Hurricane Matthew survivors.
“Mackenzie’s can-do spirit is exactly what we need in North Carolina right now as we pull together to recover from Hurricane Matthew,” Gov. Cooper said. “I’m impressed by her persistence and her generosity toward people in need in her community.”
Mackenzie Hinson founded the Make a Difference Food Pantry after learning that many families in her community and across the state didn’t have enough to eat every day. Since it opened in 2015, the pantry has served almost 40,000 people.
After Hurricane Matthew devastated Wayne and surrounding counties in October of 2016, Mackenzie and her volunteers served 6,914 hot meals and distributed food and toiletry items to more than 8,000 people.
Governor Cooper recognized Mackenzie earlier this month in his State of the State address:
Tonight, we have a remarkable young lady with us who represents the very best of our state’s resilient spirit. In 2015, before the storm, 12-year-old Mackenzie Hinson, from Grantham, founded “Make A Difference Food Pantry” to help people in her community. After the devastation of Hurricane Matthew, Mackenzie and her volunteers went into overdrive. Following the hurricane, her pantry’s shelves were empty and friends and family members lost homes. But Mackenzie and her team were not deterred. With the help of businesses and volunteers, they restocked and got to work.
Joining Governor Cooper today at the Make a Difference Food Pantry were Goldsboro Mayor Chuck Allen, Goldsboro City Manager Scott Stevens, and Wayne County Commissioners Bill Pate and Joe Gurley.
Counties served by Mackenzie’s food pantry and other counties hit hard by Hurricane Matthew are making strides, but many families, businesses, schools and communities continue to need help recovering from the storm. Gov. Cooper is currently working on a second Disaster Relief package for North Carolina to take to Congress.
“We’ve come a long way in recovering from this disaster, and we couldn’t do it without volunteers, nonprofits, faith communities and local businesses rolling up their sleeves to help,” Gov. Cooper said. “State and local leaders are continuing to work closely together and are reaching out to our federal partners to make sure North Carolina gets the help it needs.”