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3 questions with Kay Carter, food bank director



We have all seen them — cardboard signs on street corners held up by a person pleading for help. Most of us try not to look, lock our car doors, or roll up our windows. Some people scoff, "Get a job." Kay Carter, however, dedicates her life to helping the hungry. For over six years Carter has been a director at the Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina. She says that she spends most of her time raising funds and food for the organization. The Second Harvest Food Bank distributes over 30 million pounds of food and grocery essentials to the hungry every year. This year Second Harvest is hosting The 21st Annual Chef's Best featuring Food Network star Paula Deen. Carter says she is extremely excited to meet Deen but she is more "grateful for what Deen is doing to help the Food Bank."

Creative Loafing: Were you raised in a giving household?

Kay Carter: I think the way I was raised is most certainly the reason I have spent much of my career in jobs that help folks in need. I often tell the story that we always had someone at our house on holidays that was not part of our family. My parents believed that no one should be alone on holidays, and we often invited folks that did not have a place to go. Both of my parents were the type that would give you their last dime if you needed it. My family was certainly not rich but we always felt very blessed to have enough to eat, a warm house and clothes. My parents taught me the value of sharing and giving to others at a very early age.

During your academic years, were you involved in any organizations?

I was involved in all kinds of activities in school, including sports, debate clubs and student government.

Have you ever been in charge of an organization or fundraiser prior to Second Harvest?

Prior to coming to Second Harvest, I ran the York County Department of Social Services and was a city manager for 10 years.