As Independence Day weekend approaches, Harvest Hope Food Bank anticipates an increase in families coming to its Pee Dee agency partners to help find meals for their tables.
Each summer, Harvest Hope sees a surge in families in need of food toward the end of June and increasing in July and August. Across all 20 counties and through the efforts of its agency partners, Harvest Hope provided food for more than 68,200 families in July 2014. Food bank staffers said they need the food and resources to meet an equal demand this summer.
Throughout Harvest Hope Food Bank’s South Carolina service area, in 2015 there were 185,402 school children on free/reduced-price breakfast and lunch programs. For these children, their schools offer sanctuaries from hunger. But during the summer, those sanctuaries are closed.
Harvest Hope made sure children had meals after school through its Kids Café and backpack programs, and provided for 2,310 school children across its 20-county service area in May. Now those children are home from school and no longer have access to meals during school or the extra meals on weekends form the backpack program.
Harvest Hope seeks the community’s support and asks for food drives to help collect canned goods and other shelf stable foods, or monetary donations to help stock its emergency food pantries. Harvest Hope can turn every dollar into five meals for empty tables, officials said, so donations provide an immediate resource to having the food we need.
To donate, volunteer or learn more, visit www.harvesthope.org or call 843-661-0826.