When Maleka Anderson saw a Facebook post about someone cooking extra meals and passing them out to people in need, she had an idea.
The Fort Mill resident reached out to other mothers in her moms group to see if one or two people would help.
“The first meal we made was in September of 2016 in my kitchen,” Anderson said. “I found more like-minded moms who enjoyed doing it and, from there, we have just grown.”
Moms Making Moves is a registered nonprofit founded by mothers who want to make a difference. They aim to strengthen the family by putting people in the position to help other families.
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In 2017, the group outgrew Anderson’s kitchen and started renting larger spaces for food preparation. On the third Saturday of each month, the group gathers at either the Leroy Springs Recreation Center or the Fort Mill YMCA to make meals.
“Each event, we aim to make at least 350 meals, but we’ve made up to 950,” Anderson said. “All items for meals are donated by members of the community and those who attend events.”
Once the meals are prepped, they’re transported to uptown Charlotte and surrounding areas, where they’re distributed to people on park benches, at bus stops, on corners and at shelters. Sometimes, people also receive a care bag that contains a snack, body wipes, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrush, lip balm and lotions.
Anderson’s always had a passion for volunteering, she said. And as a mother, it’s important to her to involve her daughter.
“I want her to learn, to understand how lucky she is and to be able to look outside of herself and her own struggles,” Anderson said. “If you give a child a look into lives different than their own, they will be more caring, appreciative and well-rounded.”
Although initiated by moms, the group is open to everyone – men, women, children, married couples and singles. And child care is available for children who are too young to pitch in.
People can also get involved by donating food, space or funds to Moms Making Moves.
Anderson believes that a community is like a family – and family helps family.
“Being charitable is not about looking down on someone,” she said. “It’s taking a moment to make a connection and showing someone a little love that may help them feel like it’s not hopeless.”
Stephanie Jadrnicek: firstname.lastname@example.org
Want to help?
Moms Making Moves will meet next 10 a.m. - noon Feb. 17 at the Fort Mill YMCA to prepare sandwiches, fruit, snacks and beverages which they’ll distribute 12:30 p.m. - 2 p.m. For more information, email info@MomsMakingMoves.org.