THIS THURSDAY, SHARE YOUR HOLIDAY BY GIVING TO HARVEST HOPE
By Liz Gunn || As promised, I wanted to share with you my favorite holiday charity event. Share Your Holiday is an annual food drive for Harvest Hope Food Bank, that has been put on by WACH Fox Television station since 1998. It is now, and has been for some time, the largest food drive in the state.
I have to be honest with you -I love to eat. Not only do I love to eat, I get pretty cranky when I’m very hungry. In reality though, I have never even known what true hunger is.
I have never not known where my next meal was coming from. I’ve never worried that I wouldn’t be able to feed my child, much less worried that what I feed her might not meet the basic nutritional needs. I have never had to choose between getting a prescription filled or buying food for my family.
The sad reality is that many South Carolinians deal with this every day. One out of six families didn’t get enough to eat this weekend. While a lot of us were tossing out leftovers because we just couldn’t stand the sight of them anymore, others were wondering how they would feed their kids or themselves.
Harvest Hope Food Bank conducted a Hunger Study this year in the 20 South Carolina counties it serves, and the results are nothing short of heartbreaking. More than 70 percent of those surveyed said at one time or another they were forced to choose between buying food or doing one of the following : paying a utility bill, obtaining reliable transportation or seeking medical treatment / getting medication. This is a choice no one should ever have to make in one of the wealthiest countries in the world.
The good news is that you can help. You can help families have a better Christmas this year. You can help those in need know that there is still good in the world, no matter how bleak things feel right now given their current situation.
One misconception about food banks is that they only serve “poor” families or people who are unemployed. Many of Harvest Hope’s recipients might surprise you. It’s scary to think about, but a lot of people are just one missed paycheck away from going hungry. Harvest Hope feeds families in need year round, they provide emergency food boxes after man-made or natural disasters and they provide food to a large network of non-profits and community organizations for distribution.
Last year, Harvest Hope distributed more than 28 million pounds of food, providing hunger relief for more than 2 million people in their coverage area. They could never have done this without the help and generosity of the general public. Share Your Holiday gives people so many options for donating.
The event takes place this Thursday, December 4th, from 6:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. in the Sumter Street parking lot of First Baptist Church in downtown Columbia. There will be a convenient drive through for people dropping off non-perishables or monetary donations. You can donate on-line from the comfort of your home or office, just by clicking here. There will also be a food truck rodeo during lunch, where a portion of the proceeds will go back to Harvest Hope. Choose from The Wurst Wagen, Casey’s Barkmobile (BBQ), San Jose, Kiki’s Chicken & Waffles, Waffle House, Cromers and Exclusive Berries & Treats.
Harvest Hope Food Bank dedicates 98 cents out of every dollar to feeding the hungry. You can feel good about the money you give. Here is what even a small donation can do.
$17 feeds a family for one week. $30 feeds a child for 1 month through the “BackPack Program”. $100 provides 500 lbs of food.
Several years ago, I had the privilege of working on the team that coordinates this event. You wouldn’t believe the time, energy and resources that go into getting this off the ground each year. I’ve worked with many non-profits, but Harvest Hope is still one of my all-time favorites. They work tirelessly to end hunger in South Carolina, especially this time of year.
Please consider stopping by or making a donation on-line. If you have little ones, the big guy in red will be there until noon! I personally can’t think of a better way to share a little joy this holiday season that by helping families in need.
LIZ GUNN is a wife, mom, travel enthusiast, food snob, daydreamer and lifelong Gamecock fan. A graduate of the University of South Carolina, she lives in Columbia, S.C. with her husband and daughter.
You had me at hungry children. I’ll be there. I look forward to this one every year. Thanks for the reminder.
Why don’t they do what every other leech in the state does, get an EBT card and go to McDonalds.
Why only around Thanksgiving and Christmas? I know it’s colder, but I know I’m just as hungry in July as November… how about we vote to keep a constant level of supply without having “reminders?” Or is it something we, as a society, feel that is not as important as roads and trash removal?
Maybe it’s easier to shame people into giving when they are looking at the poverty of their Lord and Savior.. and the pot belly of Santa Claus?
Well to be fair -Harvest Hope works year round. They actually feed more children during the summer, because they’re not getting 2 meals a day, 5 days a week at school. Very sad. I support them every chance I get!
And in short -yes. I do think the biggest turn out is during the holidays because we shame ourselves into it. For me personally, Christmas is my favorite time of year -and it does tug at my heart strings when I think of families not having enough to eat. Especially when my family has been blessed beyond measure. It feels like the right thing to do.
Instead of letting the churches do it, why can’t we all just *agree* to fund it in perpetuity for all who need it?
Is that so crazy?
If you’re on the other side of the river,and want to donate-God’s Helping Hands