Updated: Aug 30, 2019
“Everything was close to Clyde’s heart.”
That’s what Nikki McCormick, Second Harvest’s Agency Relations Director, thought when Kay Carter of our sister food bank in Charlotte called to ask to make a special donation in honor of the late Clyde Fitzgerald, Second Harvest’s former CEO who passed away last month.
It is true that Clyde had no shortage of passion for feeding people in need. Clyde had been around Second Harvest Food Bank since its inception, volunteering with his wife Carol and also serving on our Board. Clyde took the helm of the organization and led it for 10 years, until his retirement this past June. During his decades with the food bank, Clyde called on each of us to do everything within our means to care for our neighbors. “It is always the right time to help someone in need,” he was known to often say.
As wide as Clyde’s passion reached, when Kay called from Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina saying that her organization would like to honor Clyde, it didn’t take long to know the right way to honor Clyde would be by feeding children and their families.
“We wanted to do something special to honor Clyde for all of his years of service and devotion to those less fortunate in North Carolina,” said Kay. “What better way to honor him than to provide holiday meals to two of the elementary schools that were of special interest to him?”
“Clyde called on us to care for all of our neighbors—seniors, veterans, mothers, and fathers. But he always, always talked about the children,” remarked Nikki.
Clyde often told the story of a little boy who told his teacher he was hungry and asked for food. The boy told the teacher that it was not his day to eat.
“This distribution comes at a perfect time, as school children and their families prepare for the holidays and a long winter break,” explained Nikki. “When kids are out of school and do not have access to school meals, this places an additional burden on families that are already struggling. We hope this extra food will help ease that burden, and leave room for these children and families to enjoy the holidays.”
“That’s exactly what Clyde would have wanted,” she added.