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Gov. Cooper visits Grantham food pantry, WCC

While a student and Dr. Ernie White look on, Paul Compton, chair of the Industrial Technologies Department, and Gov. Cooper admire some pieces created in the Computer-Integrated Machining program. Gov. Cooper was presented a business card holder a student in the program had manufactured. (contributed photo)
By William Holloman
Staff Writer

A Grantham food pantry started by a 12-year-old girl, which helped local Hurricane Matthew victims, has received numerous recognitions. Now, even Governor Roy Cooper has visited the site and praised the girl.

The Governor said 12-year-old Mackenzie Hinson has shown “a can do it spirit that is exactly what was needed during the recovery.” The Governor toured the Grantham food pantry last week.

In a press release, the Governor said, “I am impressed by her persistence and her generosity toward people in need in her community.”

Wayne County and surrounding counties were devastated by Hurricane Matthew, and the youngster and her group of volunteers served nearly 7,000 hot meals and distributed food and toiletry items to another 8,000.

Earlier this month, Governor Cooper also recognized Ms. Hinson during his State of the State address. “Tonight, we have a remarkable young lady with us, who represents the very best of our state’s resilient spirit. In 2015, before the storm, 12-year-old Mackenzie Hinson from Grantham founded the Make a Difference Food Pantry to help people in her community. After the devastation from Hurricane Matthew, Mackenzie and her volunteers went into overdrive. Following the hurricane, her pantry’s shelves were empty and friends and family members lost homes,” said the Governor during his address. “But Mackenzie and her team were not deterred. With the help of businesses and volunteers, they restocked and got to work.”

Goldsboro Mayor Chuck Allen and City Manager Scott Stevens, along with Wayne County Commissioners Bill Pate and Joe Gurley, also participated in the Governor’s stop at the Grantham food pantry and the tribute to Ms. Hinson.

Governor Cooper also said, “We have come a long way in recovering from this disaster, and we couldn’t do it without volunteers, non-profits, faith, communities, and local businesses rolling up their sleeves to help.”

Earlier that day, Governor Cooper paid a visit to Wayne Community College in Goldsboro to discuss his NC GROW scholarship program plan, which would provide free community college. That plan is a part of his proposed budget.
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