Local ‘heroes’ help NourishNC raise funds to fight hunger

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Amanda Baker might not be able to fly, but she is in the running for 'Hunger Hero of the Year' as part of a NourishNC online donation drive. Courtesy photos.
Amanda Baker might not be able to fly, but she is in the running for ‘Hunger Hero of the Year’ as part of a NourishNC online donation drive. Courtesy photos.

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s…Amanda Baker?

Though you won’t see her take to the skies like the iconic flying Krypotinian, Baker is, these days, a bit more like Superman than she used to be. That’s because she and eight of her fellow caped crusaders – Jason Thompson, Maureen Oeters, Kim Emory, Markus Sauer, Beth Hollis, Chase Shelton, Sarah Brinson and Bobbi Brown – are fighting the good fight for NourishNC.

The nine caped crusaders were picked for their dedication to and involvement with NourishNC.
The nine caped crusaders were picked for their dedication to and involvement with NourishNC.

The grassroots non-profit recently named its league of “hunger heroes” as part of an online campaign to wipe out childhood hunger. While collectively tackling the local issue, each nominee is also competing to see which can raise the most funds via social media between now and July 25 to receive the title of this year’s strongest savior, as well as a key to the city.

Kim Carslake founded NourishNC in 2009 after noticing how many students just in her son’s school were battling food insecurity. Among other endeavors, the group operates a backpack program that sends children in need home with pantry staples each weekend and also ensures they don’t go without during summer vacation and over holidays. Currently, that program provides eight meals, two snacks and fresh produce to 668 New Hanover County students every Friday.

Each of the nine “Hunger Hero” nominees are dedicated supporters of NourishNC, as a volunteer, advocate, donor, school personnel or partner. Most started out as volunteers before getting more deeply involved and many are small business owners who help sponsor individual schools served by NourishNC.

Online voting – via donation – is open now through Monday, July 25. As of Thursday afternoon, Thompson – a longtime NourishNC volunteer and school sponsor – and Emory, also a NourishNC volunteer and member of Pine Valley United Methodist Church, were tied for the lead with $600, followed closely by fellow volunteer Sauer, who had collected $500. Since the fundraiser kicked off Saturday, the superhero squad has raised more than $3,100.

Click here to read about each of the “hunger heroes” and cast a ballot.