Tyler Thompson should be preparing for the track and field region championships.
Thompson, a sophomore at Forsyth Central, runs the 100- and 200-meter events for the Bulldogs' track team in the spring and plays football in the fall. Normally, he and his team would be wrapping up the annual region track and field meet, which was scheduled for this week before the COVID-19 pandemic wiped out the spring sports season.
Instead, Thompson recently found himself driving a car packed with with Cheerios, Velveeta and other food items, looking to collect meals for those in need.
"Actually, it all started out with me and my mom," Thompson said. "We were talking to a friend of ours and she told us about how a food bank that supports Forsyth Central High School, it's called 'Boxes of Love,' they only had two weeks of food left on the shelves."
"Boxes of Love," one of the MSG Foundation's assistance programs, supplies families with food when schools are on a break, typically during the summer.
However, Forsyth County schools have been closed since March 12, depleting the organization's stockpile of food.
"So, I knew I had to do something about it, of course," Thompson said. "I didn't want to let it just go and have people starve, so I took action. Even classmates that I'm friends with are probably struggling, so I didn't want to have them go without food. So I reached out to my football team and my neighborhood, and in three hours I ultimately filled up my entire car with food."
Thompson said macaroni and cheese, other pasta and breakfast foods were among the most popular items.
"Well, I care about the community and I really care about helping people, because I know this is a (hard) time and people are struggling," Thompson said. "So it's really good to help out the community in the best way you could."
Food items such as canned chicken or tuna, peanut butter, pancake mix, beans and rice are still needed, as are toiletries such as toothpaste, shampoo, tampons and small containers of laundry detergent.
Thompson said he hopes the community continues looking out for those who are less fortunate, especially during such an uncertain time.
"I hope this is a very inspiring message for others to start trying to help out the community as well," Thompson said. "That's also a main goal of this."