Fighting Food Insecurity in Our Backyard: The David and Nicole Tepper Foundation Makes Major Gift to Support Charlotte Nonprofit ‘Nourish Up’

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CHARLOTTE— The David and Nicole Tepper Foundation is lending a huge helping hand to those fighting food insecurity in Mecklenburg County. The Carolina Panthers and Charlotte FC owners, through their foundation, have made a $3 million donation to Nourish Up (formerly Loaves & Fishes/Friendship Trays), the two organizations announced on Tuesday.

Nourish Up is a nonprofit organization that has been making inroads in the fight to eradicate food insecurity throughout Charlotte-Mecklenburg for almost 50 years. This gift marks the largest in Nourish Up’s history.

“We are honored that Nicole and Dave have chosen to invest and stand in support of the individuals and families we serve,” shares Tina Postel, Nourish Up CEO. “At Nourish Up, we will continue to ensure that all of our neighbors have access to healthy food.”

The David and Nicole Tepper Foundation Pledge Gift to Nourish Up

The donation puts critical resources toward Nourish Up’s new Hunger Hub — a 90,000-square-foot facility set to open on June 21 in the heart of Charlotte – with the hope of providing unparalleled resources to those in the community facing food and nutrition insecurity.

"Food insecurity has always been one of our key pillars for the foundation," Nicole Tepper said Tuesday while visiting the Hunger Hub facility. "It has been a problem nationally for a long time, and it's a big problem here in Charlotte. Seeing the impact and scale of work by Nourish Up, we’re proud to team up with them to nourish our neighbors and fight food insecurity in Mecklenburg County.”

Beyond its latest donation to Nourish Up, The David and Nicole Tepper Foundation remains committed to combatting food insecurity throughout the Carolinas, distributing more than $6.4 million to food banks and affiliated agencies since 2018.

The Hunger Hub is located in the Thomasboro-Hoskins neighborhood on Carrier Drive, giving Nourish Up the opportunity to directly and efficaciously serve numerous individuals in the area with the added resources to fight food insecurity head-on. With the 90,000-square-foot Hunger Hub facility, Nourish Up will increase its capacity and grant volunteers and staff an even greater ability to provide groceries and meals, through both food pantries and home delivery — all in addition to the organization serving as the primary Meals on Wheels program for Mecklenburg County.

"Pardon the pun, but this is a game changer for us," said Tina Postel of Nourish Up, of The David and Nicole Tepper Foundation donation. "We are seeing food insecurity needs at an all-time high, so a transformational gift like this will help us meet the growing demand. What it also does is help us ensure that people are not only fed, but well fed with access to fresh healthy food. From the bottom of my heart, I could not express my sincere thanks more to The David and Nicole Tepper Foundation for this transformational gift."

In 2023, Nourish Up was able to provide groceries to 137,806 individuals, compared to 106,000 individuals the year prior in Mecklenburg County, a 30 percent increase. With the donation from The David and Nicole Tepper Foundation helping to expand the Nourish Up facility, the organization will have an onsite food pantry and a state-of-the-art teaching kitchen, among other additions.

"They're the trailblazers in this space. There are so many great things that Nourish Up is doing that we haven't seen being done in other places, which is incredible," Tepper said of Nourish Up's impact in the greater Charlotte community. "Watching them lead in this space has been incredibly rewarding and educational."

The David and Nicole Tepper Foundation invests capital and expertise to address the most pressing issues of our time through innovative, effective, and nimble solutions with a special focus on community-based projects. As its founders and namesakes, David and Nicole remain fervently committed to addressing societal ails and inequities, both on a national and local scale.

The donation is part of Nourish Up’s $23 million capital campaign to launch the Hunger Hub.