Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Dear Friends of Harvest Hope Food Bank,

In the spirit of the season, I certainly wanted to say a heartfelt thank you for the many blessings you have shared with Harvest Hope Food Bank to assure that we have much needed resources to distribute food to those who are worried where their next meal will come from.  After our last email to you, we have had many responses to our requests for honorariums and memorials to let loved ones know they are thought of fondly and a gift has been made to help fight hunger-what I passionately feel is a critical need.  We thank you so very much!

Harvest Hope Food Bank relies greatly on the generosity and donations of so many to continue our mission of caring for hungry families across 20 counties of our state.  Especially as we close out 2010, resources collected now must help us continue into 2011. 

In this continued worried state of the economy, increases in service delivery are very high-more than 111% more families are coming to us than in 2009.  With this increased service delivery, naturally it costs more in operation funds to move food to those who need it. 

Sadly, since Thanksgiving we have seen a 13% reduction in the usual flow of donations we come to count on at this busy time of year.    I must share that the reduction is significant and impacts our service delivery to make sure we are getting enough food to those in need.  True to the economic conditions, the average gift per donor is about half of what it was last year. This is certainly frightening and at the same time I know we have to walk by faith not what we see.  We always must trust in the Lord that He will provide.

For many, the holiday season is almost over, but also for many, the hunger need will not go away. Families who face such critical needs will still need our compassion and help long after the holidays and certainly into the dead of winter.

New unemployment numbers came out just last week and they tell us why we are seeing such a strong need for our service. South Carolina is tied with Nevada as the state with the seventh highest percentage of unemployed. The unemployment rate across Harvest Hope’s 20 counties is 12.6%, which is a full two points higher than the state average and three points higher than the national average. Sixteen per cent of South Carolina’s population live below the poverty level, and that’s almost half a million people. Hunger is a new and unfamiliar factor for so many in South Carolina.  Harvest Hope lives with purpose to bring food to all hungry people and certainly this is not an individual effort but a collective one that includes YOU. Your gifts, your time, your prayer and your support tell others what we do.  You are significant to this fight and to the dream to make sure that no one goes hungry.

Being a collective ambassador in this fight is crucial.  Yes, financial gifts will and are always  needed, volunteers are needed, as well as in kind gifts that might be not needed by everyone but could be possibly be used by someone else.  Telling others about what Harvest Hope does and scheduling a powerful mission-telling HOPE tour really helps to get people’s attention about this work. You our donor, our volunteer, our supporter are the best message deliverer to invite others who respect what you support to take a tour.  Please take a moment to look at our website and see there are multiple ways to help through our gift catalog, honorariums, memorials, year end gifts, food drives and volunteering

As always, we are very grateful for your support and interest in the ongoing mission of Harvest Hope Food Bank. We know this is a tough economic time and many difficulties are brought on as the past three years have shown. However, as written in 2nd Corinthians 9:9: “They share freely and give generously to the poor. Their good deeds will be remembered forever.”  And to share the joy and peace of the season, we can know that through our collective work, we have “filled the hungry with good things.” Luke 1:53.

Best Wishes and Warmest Blessings of the Season to you and to your families,

Denise Holland 

To make a online donation click here.

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