Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Thousands of hungry people live right here among us. You pass by them every day. They are grandmothers and grandfathers and children. They are hardworking men and women. They are families.

They are families we see at our own doorsteps when they come to us for help. We are there for them with a shopping cart filled with food, and they are often moved to tears and always express their deepest thanks. We see children at our front door and in our waiting room, hungry and unsure if today will be another day without dinner. We see their eyes light up when the shopping cart comes out with their food. One day we saw a child who at first did not know that all of the food was for his family, and then was filled with joy when he learned how much they had to eat. “It seems like Christmas for us,” he said, and his smiles showed he really felt that. It is mid-September now and we may be experiencing the Indian summer. We may still think the holidays are months away, but in reality for a family needing food, when they get it, they feel like it is Christmas for them.

Harvest Hope Food Bank has a 33 year history of lifting struggling families and individuals out of their hunger and helping restore balance to their lives. When they face their empty tables and ask us for help, we make sure to give them 90 to 100 pounds of food. We have found that with that help they only come to us three times, and then they are lifted out of hunger and they do not need to come for help again.

At Harvest Hope we see the faces of the hungry every day at our own doorsteps in Columbia, Lexington, Florence and in Greenville. We hear from our agency partners in the remotest corners of South Carolina that families continue to some to them for help with food. Families and individuals across our state struggle to put food on their tables. But hunger is a problem that stretches across our country.

A new article shows hunger is still a concern even four years after the economic crisis supposedly ended. For so many, for one in five Americans, the crisis is far from over. Read more about hunger right here: http://inplainsight.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/09/12/20460846-1-in-5-americans-struggling-to-put-food-on-the-table?lite

Our mission at Harvest Hope is to provide for families and individuals struggling with hunger right here in South Carolina. We strive to provide hunger relief across 20 SC counties through our own Emergency Food Pantries and through partnerships with more than 400 agencies. They carry our mission from our own neighborhoods to the remotest corners of South Carolina where hunger and poverty exist for thousands. Our efforts bring hunger relief to more than 42,000 people every week.

Our food is often enough to take their worries away, to give them enough resources to overcome their circumstances.

To reach them all we have to have resources to send our trucks to get food from community partners, and then take and give food to the areas where food is needed the most.

To many the holidays seem two months away but for Harvest Hope holiday need preparation is right now. Please help us prepare with a gift today. Your gift will help us gather loads of food from across the country. That food is often donated and FREE, but the transportation is not.

In addition, we need sponsors of backpacks for children. A $30 gift will provide 29 meals on the weekends. We have children waiting and wanting - can you help?

Another great gift is your gift of time. Volunteers are needed both for groups and for counselors in our own Emergency Food Pantries. We have many ways to be involved and we need YOU - the gifts you bring, the love you share, the smiles you give. Click HERE to learn more about volunteering.

Your gifts – right now – give us the resources to keep us going to help lift others out of their time of crisis and hunger. Harvest Hope dedicates 98¢ out of every dollar donated to our mission of feeding struggling families, children, seniors and our very neighbors. Giving is easy. Visit us at our DONATION PAGE to help us help our neighbors.

Our blessings and deepest thanks for your generosity and kindness,

Denise Holland

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