RALEIGH – Thursday is “Food Lion Feeds Hunger Relief Day” at the NC State Fair.

Fairgoers will receive free admission with a donation of five cans of Food Lion brand items to benefit the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina.

Since 1993, about 5 million pounds of food has been collected at the fair. It has helped the grocers’ commitment to providing 500 million meals to those in need by the end of 2020.

The goal for this year is to raise 250,000 pounds of food.

If the goal is met, the state fair will donate $1,000 to the food bank.

Unfortunately, food insecurity remains a serious problem in central and eastern North Carolina.

The food bank doesn't just help people in Wake County. They also assist people in need in Durham, Greenville, New Bern, Fayetteville and Wilmington.

In those counties alone, more than 636,000 people struggle to access nutritious and adequate amounts of food that's essential to lead a healthy life.