COLUMBIA, S.C. (WSPA)– 1 in 6 South Carolinians will go hungry each day and agencies like the Harvest Hope Food Bank help feed them. But when disaster strikes it creates challenges for agencies like the food bank to fulfill its mission.
The CEO of the Harvest Hope Food Bank says during the holidays they see a big push. “Typically with the holidays we do see the generosity of people a little higher than at other times,” said Denise Holland.
The holidays are considered the Season of Giving, but sometimes the willingness to give depends on where the need is. Two years ago.. for south Carolina.. it was the great floods in the Midlands.
“That was right in the middle of our campaign season. and while our campaign did take a little bit of a hit we raised a million dollars above the campaign for flood relief..so yes in that year the campaign slid a little bit,” explained Sara Fawcett, the CEO of the United Way of the Midlands. The organization focuses on early childhood education and uses donations to fund those programs.
The United Way of the Midlands says the impact was direct because the natural disaster happened in our own backyard. But when you take situations abroad like recovery efforts in Puerto Rico, Florida or Texas, agencies like the Harvest Hope Food Bank are seeing its normal donations given to other causes.
“I am concerned as we are now looking at end of year numbers in terms of donations that the food bank has been impacted with a lesser number of donations this holiday season than in previous year,” said Holland.
The food bank operates 3 emergency pantries across the state and helps meet the need of 48 thousand individuals on a monthly basis.
The Salvation Army of Columbia also saw a decrease in donations this year. In 2016, the organization collected $391, 883.32 in its Red Kettle Campaign compared to $346,016.36.
For more info on how you can help the Salvation Army click HERE
United Way of the Midlands HERE
Harvest Hope Food Bank HERE