RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — It’s the last four days of the State Fair, and if you are planning on going Thursday you could get free admission.

For Smithfield Foods Hunger Relief Day, bring six cans of food and get into the fair for free.

Officials said Hunger Relief Day started at the fair in 1993, and since its start more than 5.8 million pounds of food have been donated to the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina and other partners.

And this has an impact right here in North Carolina.

Jessica Whichard, communication vice president for the food bank, shared just how many people don’t always know where they’ll get their next meal from.

According to the food bank, roughly 12 percent of families in North Carolina experience hunger; 1 in 6 of those impacted are children and teens.



“About 500,000 folks don’t always know where their next meal is coming from, so the need is pretty great. Coming off of the pandemic and knowing that inflation is really impacting families, gas prices are impacting families,” Whichard said. “A lot of folks are finding themselves in the hunger relief system and the food that is donated today goes an incredibly long way to making sure, especially through the holiday season, they got food accessible.” 

For more information on the food bank and its services, click here.

And for information on the State Fair, click here.