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Unexpected fire sets back Camino food pantry operations

WBTV Charlotte logo WBTV Charlotte 8/6/2022 Nikki Hauser
A fire at the Camino Health Center has impacted its food pantry operations. © Provided by WBTV Charlotte A fire at the Camino Health Center has impacted its food pantry operations.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - The Camino Health Center, a Charlotte nonprofit that provides food and healthcare to underserved communities, said an unexpected fire on the Fourth of July has damaged their building and set back their food pantry operations.

On a day no one was in the building, Camino CEO Rusty Price said that an overheated fan set a bathroom on fire and flooded the building, leaving them with extensive smoke and water damage.

Since then, he said not only have partner organizations like Loaves & Fishes assisted in food supply, but Lowes’ donated $15,000 to help them rebuild.

Even so, Price said they haven’t been able to serve nearly 1,500 people this month. This was mainly because of the fire but also due to existing inflation and supply chain issues.

“A lot of people come to us that aren’t in the system and don’t have transportation,” he said. “So it’s those, the most vulnerable, that really concern us.”

“We had people weekly coming in saying my refrigerator’s completely empty. Zero food,” the food pharmacy director, Ben Price, said. “I brought food to a gentleman the other day that said he’s been eating on one jar of peanut butter for three days.”

Price said his hope is to rebuild by September.

If you want to help out, you can find out how here.

Related: Burke County residents sleep in their cars overnight at food distribution site

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