Upstate sees increase in the need for resources at food pantries, opportunity centers


SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA)- Just as the world was put on pause due to COVID-19, those who work to provide for the needs of homeless and low-income people had to start working even harder.

Executive Director of the Spartanburg Opportunity Center, Karl Rogozenski, says what these people are experiencing is like a chain reaction.

“It is more difficult and there’s been a lot of people that are losing their jobs. So with that, we anticipate they’ll lose their housing, which in that case, then we’ll see a lot more folks,” Rogozenski said.

The Opportunity Center provides resources to those in need like food, showers, a career center and more.

During the Coronavirus, they haven’t been able to provide all the same resources, but Rogozenski says instead of losing hope, they’ll improvise.  

“We’re bringing some of those agencies to us., to help with snap benefits, health-related issues, mental health, all of that we’re trying to bring under one roof,” Rogozenski said.

Lynn Cole, the director of the food pantry at Lake Bowen Baptist Church, says they’ve had to change their normal distributions due to such high demand.

“For the months of April and May, we had the food pantry every two weeks, where we normally have it once a month,” Cole said. “Our church certainly stepped up and blessed us and was able to provide for a lot more people.”   

The same goes over at the Opportunity Center.

While Rogozenski says they don’t have the same number of volunteers as usual right now, he says it’s not going to stop them from helping those in need.

If you want to help, Rogozenski says their biggest need right now is funding to keep serving the community.

Click here to find out how to give.

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