The North Carolina State Fair collected more than 200,000 pounds of food for the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina on Thursday, according to preliminary numbers released Friday.
Thursday was Food Lion Hunger Relief Day at the fair, and anyone bringing four cans of Food Lion-brand food got in free.
The Food Bank, which serves nearly 900 food outlets in 34 counties, says the 213,558 pounds collected equals nearly 180,000 meals.
Final numbers will be released next year.
Last year, more than 237,000 pounds were collected. In 2010, more than 247,000 pounds were collected – the largest amount raised in the history of the event.
Thursday's attendance at the fair was 101,272, according to the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, one in six families, or 14.9 percent of the U.S. population, ran short of food in 2011.
In North Carolina, an estimated 3.72 million people, or 17.1 percent of households, experienced some kind of food shortage.