DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – There are many families around the Triangle struggling to put food on the table.

According to Carolina Hunger Initiative, food insecurity rates in North Carolina have more than doubled with COVID-19 hardships. With school schools closed since mid-March, more than 900,000 children school students lost access to the free or reduced-price weekday school lunch and breakfast they relied on.

To help families out, 20 Moe’s Southwest Grill locations in the Triangle have teamed up with Carolina Hunger Initiative to hand out 1,000 boxed meals to families in Durham, Wake, and Orange counties.

James Brooks, director of operations at Moe’s Southwest Grill in Durham, said it pains him to know people are going without food in our community.

“We definitely feel heartbroken when we know that families aren’t able to get meals, they aren’t able to get normal breakfast, lunch, and snack as they would if school was in. Of course, school is out right now for the summer, but there are families that have lost meals over the last eight to 12 weeks,” Brooks said.

The meal distribution started Thursday morning in Durham. Moe’s and Carolina Hunger Initiative handed out 250 meals to families at Sherwood Githens Middle School. Next week, boxed meals will be handed out in Wake and Orange counties.

“My son is still in middle school and I definitely hear it when he’s talking to his friends and some of his friends are unable to get those meals that they usually get and it pains me,” Moe’s Southwest Grill director of operations Jason Brooks said. “It pains all owners that are in the restaurant business. Our business is showing love through food.”

Families needing help feeding their children and families can reach out to No Kid Hungry NC.