11th Congressional District candidate Cecil Bothwell, Democrat, has issued a challenge to politicians in both parties to divert money from their campaign funds to support food banks in Western North Carolina.
"Our region is number three in the nation in food insecurity," Bothwell said. "There is very real hunger in our communities, where unemployed parents are daily faced with the challenge of feeding their families. In the America I believe in, that is simply unacceptable. We are not the dystopian land depicted in a movie such as Hunger Games, we are the wealthiest country in the world, and there is no way to justify hunger."
The campaign polled thousands of donors and supporters, asking whether they wanted to divert money from advertising to feeding the hungry and the response was an overwhelming, "Yes!"
On Thursday, March 8, Bothwell toured the hard-hit communities of Peachtree and Texana, in Cherokee County, where tornadoes destroyed or severely damaged dozens of homes. He delivered the first check of the first $1,000 in donations, to the Mt. Zion Church food pantry and the Texana Community Center which is organizing relief efforts. Other donations will go out to churches and hard-pressed food pantries across the region this week.
"We will continue to divert a portion of our campaign money to church soup kitchens and food banks in the region from now until the November election, and I challenge all other candidates for any office in WNC to do the same. I don't care if it is $5 or $5,000, feeding our neighbors is more important than paying for one extra yard sign or one more TV ad."
"The longer term solution is to replace the Republicans and Blue Dog Democrats in Washington with representatives who will vote for jobs, vote for education and vote for health care. But the people who are hungry today can't wait a year. We need to act now."