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Operation HPJuly 03, 2017
Harvest Hope Food Bank is launching the second phase of Operation HP, a hunger prevention program designed to serve military communities. With a grant of $75 thousand from the Walmart Foundation, the program will successfully complete the pilot phase and begin to roll out full scale across the 20 counties in South Carolina served by Harvest Hope.
On Tuesday, April 25, a 9:00am press conference will be held at Harvest Hope Food Bank’s Shop Road facility featuring current and retired members of the military, Harvest Hope Food Bank CEO Denise Holland, local Walmart leadership, and community officials.
The event will also highlight Walmart’s “Fight Hunger. Spark Change.” campaign, a nationwide initiative that calls on the public to take action in the fight against hunger by purchasing participating products in stores, register donations or online acts of support. The Feeding America nationwide network of 200 food banks, of which the Harvest Hope Food Bank is a member, stands to benefit from the campaign which runs April 17 – May 15,
According to the publication Governing for State and Localities, it is estimated that approximately 50,426 active and reserve troops work and reside in the state of South Carolina, making it one of the states with the largest military population in the country. US Department of Veterans Affairs reports that approximately 417,257 veterans also reside in the state.
Harvest Hope Food Bank is the largest food bank in the state, serving 20 of the 46 counties in South Carolina. Established in 1981, the food bank has grown from an emergency food box program to providing over 27,000,000 meals annually to those in need. Approximately 12% of the over 2 million individuals served annually by Harvest Hope Food Bank have some affiliation with the military community. They are either active duty, National Guard, retirees, veterans, or their families.
Harvest Hope receives no government funding for this program and relies solely on grants and donations. Individuals or companies who wish to donate or volunteer should visit www.harvesthope.org or call 803-254-4432.
Lexington Medical and Harvest Hope Fight DiabetesJune 23, 2017
Lexington Medical Center is providing a $10,000 grant to Harvest Hope Food Bank, with the goal of establishing three diabetic-friendly pantries in Lexington County. The pantries will be housed in three of Harvest Hope Food Bank’s Partner Agencies.
More than 12% of Lexington county residents are food insecure, meaning they lacked the ability to provide adequate food for their families at least once in the last 12 months. Due to lack of resources individuals who are food insecure often rely on low cost sodium and sugar filled food alternatives that can exacerbate chronic health conditions such as diabetes.
The food choices for the pantries were chosen in consultation with registered dietitians, D2 and Me, and with the SC Office of the American Diabetes Association. The pantries will also include educational information on healthy eating, weight loss, living with diabetes and other resources to help clients form long-term strategies for managing their diabetes and improving their general health.
“This is a wonderful example of how two organizations with long term roots in Lexington can work together to continue to improve their community,” said Denise Holland, Harvest Hope CEO. “We’re thrilled about this partnership and look forward to helping those most in need.”
These pantries will be expansions of existing pantries located at Sharing God’s Love, 147 Friarsgate Boulevard, Irmo, SC 29063, Mission of Hope, 1819 Middleton Street, Cayce, South Carolina 29033, and Church of Christ, 1303 Sunset Blvd 29169.
Those interested in more information or who wish to support Harvest Hope Food Bank should visit www.harvesthope.org or call 803-254-4432.
Help Fight Summer HungerMay 16, 2017
Imagine you’re a child on the last day of school. It’s lunch time and you’re listening to friends talk about plans for the summer, the camps they’re going to, maybe a trip to a theme park. But, as you look down at your plate, you’re not thinking about roller coasters, road trips, or fun; you’re thinking this could be your last lunch for two and a half months.
For all too many children in South Carolina, summer is not a carefree time of relaxation and sleeping late, but a time of hunger. Across our state, nearly 60% of children are on free or reduced lunch, according to the SC Department of Education. When summer comes, these children, and their families, face increased stress on already stretched food budgets.
When summer comes, Harvest Hope sees thousands of more families each week as parents, and grandparents, struggle to feed children in their care. We see as much as a 40% increase in families served at our emergency food pantries and through our agency partners.
These are families with parents who are working, sometimes event two or three jobs, but who struggle to make ends meet. They’re faced with terrible choices. Do I feed my family or pay the car payment? Can I skip my medication to stretch it a little farther so I don’t have to skip dinner tonight? If I buy groceries and push the light bill back, will we be cut off?
This summer, Harvest Hope is excited to announce that we’re greatly expanding our Kid’s Café program. We’ll be providing hot meals to more than 300 children a day at sites around our territory. The Kid’s Cafés aren’t just a place for kids to get food. They’re a source of stability and mentorship for children who can be facing difficult home lives.
That’s why your help is so critical. When you donate to Harvest Hope, you’re not just providing a meal, you’re providing hope. It doesn’t take a huge gift to make a lasting impact on a child’s life. It only takes $250 to sponsor a child at a Kid’s Café for the entire summer. Most of us will spend that on our lunches in a month. You can sponsor a child for a month for just $100. Your gifts matter to those in need. To donate and give a family hope, simply click here.