Harris Beverage Good Guys



A few months ago my neighbor and friend Jay Harris who owns Harris Beverages the local Budweiser and other craft beer distributor told me about how much fun he had when he went to an national meeting and all the beer guys volunteered at the local food bank.  Knowing I am the chair of the Food Bank of Central and Eastern NC he asked me if we had volunteer opportunities at our food bank.  “Boy, do we,” came out of my mouth as fast as if I was a child being asked do you want candy and cookies for lunch.


See our food bank is in the top ten of the two hundred Feeding America Food Banks across the country in terms of volunteer utilization.  We have seven branches in our thirty-four counties and everyday we have volunteers working in our branches that more than double our paid work force.


Jay and I started to talk about what might be a good one-day job for Harris Beverages to do as a team building exercise for the whole company.  Now people can come and sort food, package potatoes or do any number of valuable jobs, but there was one thing I had in mind that was made for a group of strong men with big trucks so I floated the idea to Jay to have Harris help the Durham branch move from it’s old location to it’s new bigger branch.


The cost of moving would be thousands of real dollars to us if we had to pay for it.  Paying to move would have taken food away from people who need it.  If it cost us $8,000 that would equal $80,000 worth of food since we can turn every dollar into ten dollars worth of food.  But moving our warehouse was a big job.  Jay did not hesitate and got right on working out all the logistics with our staff.


This morning Harris beer trucks, pallet jacks and employees showed up early on a Saturday morning and moved us.  I hope they had fun because I know it was a big job.  That is the kind of corporate giving back that makes Harris a wonderful Durham company.  Thank you Jay for not even blinking an eye when I suggested helping with the move as a volunteer opportunity.  I am proud you are my friend.


To all the citizens of Durham and Chapel Hill if you are thinking about buying a beer this week or this month buy a Bud, or a Big Boss, Carolina Brewery, Sweet Water or a New Leaf Tea if you don’t like beer.  No one made Jay Harris volunteer to help the Food Bank.  We don’t give beer away as part of our mission to make sure no one in Central in Eastern NC goes hungry, but Jay wanted to do something to help us and boy did all those Harris Employees ever help.  So thank them by buying a beer.