NC bird rescue struggling after losing food donations - Tri-State News, Weather & Sports

NC bird rescue struggling after losing food donations

(Sarah-Blake Morgan | WBTV) (Sarah-Blake Morgan | WBTV)

A local animal rescue feels like the rug has been ripped out beneath them after they say their food donations stopped abruptly. Carolina Waterfowl Rescue relies heavily on fresh produce donations from Harris Teeter to feed hundreds of birds they're nursing back to health. 

Jennifer Gordon is the director of the Indian Trail based non-profit.

“Every single animal has a story. They all have a horrible story of how they got here,” she said. 

Most of the birds they have came in abandoned or injured. Gordon says their staff and volunteers take in between 3,000 and 5,000 animals every year. 

“Our goal is to make life easy for them once they get here,” Gordon said. 

The feathered ones rule the roost at Carolina Waterfowl. Animals are everywhere, and to keep them full it take hundreds of pounds of fresh produce per day.

“It takes a ton of food to feed everybody,” Gordon said. 

Since the organization's inception, they've relied on food donations from local grocery stores, most recently, Harris Teeter. But Tuesday, Gordon says they were told the donations would be stopping because of a new initiative.

“We’ve always relied on the generosity of the community stores around us that provided us food and it was devastating to find out that it was no longer going to be available,” she said. 

The organization is now scrambling to find a way to feed hundreds of hungry beaks

“100 dollars a day. That’s a staggering amount of money,” Gordon said. 

If Carolina Waterfowl can’t find a new donor, Gordon says they’ll have to make cuts, starting with their songbird program.

“That’s 3,000 songbirds in our area that wouldn’t get help because we wouldn’t be able to afford to feed them anymore,” she said.

Gordon hopes to find a solution soon before their resources fly south for good.

“It’s hard because there’s no place for these animals to go, they have no home,” she said. 

Carolina Waterfowl is looking for any donations of fresh produce. For more information on how to help, visit  or

Harris Teeter released a statement about the matter after WBTV contacted them Wednesday.

Harris Teeter has provided faithful support to Carolina Waterfowl Rescue and their very important efforts for several years. Our company is proud to support hundreds of nonprofits; we are also proud of our commitment to feeding hungry community members including children, seniors and veterans. 

We strive to be a responsible corporate citizen and are proud to be Charlotte’s hometown grocery store. Harris Teeter is in the process of rolling out a new program that will offer even more fresh donations to our food bank partners. 

We understand that the Carolina Waterfowl Rescue would prefer that we divert food donations for their cause. We made a choice to drive more of our fresh food donations to feed hungry families in our communities, which is our primary mission. 

Harris Teeter has offered a financial donation of $500 in gift cards to Carolina Waterfowl Rescue, which the organization accepted. In addition, Harris Teeter offered to leverage its contacts with local food banks and farmers, which are better equipped to meet the growing needs of this organization.  

Harris Teeter is grateful for the time we were able to provide produce donations to the Carolina Waterfowl Rescue. We are proud of our associates who bring our in-store donation programs to life to feed hungry families in our communities.

Food Lion also announced they would be donating $250 worth of bird food the Waterfowl Rescue, and an additional $250 to the Second Harvest Food Bank's Pet Food Bank.

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