The bounty is a little bigger these days for the Irmo-Chapin community’s Snack Packs program.
Volunteers from McGregor Presbyterian Church and the Optimist Club of St. Andrews-Irmo recently held food drives that collected more than 300,000 items for the program that provides weekend food kits to hundreds of Lexington-Richland 5 students in need.
Volunteers from area churches and civic groups pack and deliver the Snack Packs to schools each week, and more than 650 students are served throughout the year.
The food kits contain 16 to 18 items such as cereal, grits, canned pasta, fruit cups, granola bars and more. The 318,000 donated food items were displayed at Ameris Bank on Lake Murray Boulevard. The bank supports the annual food drives through its Helping Fight Hunger campaign and expects to donate more than $40,000 in matching funds to the program, based on the value of the donated foods.
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“We are happy to support the Snack Packs program in the Irmo-Chapin area as part of our campaign to fight hunger,” Ameris Bank branch manager Scott Nulman said. “This incredible response by so many people in our community makes a huge difference for families who need help.”
The program also is supported by grants from the Michael J. Mungo Foundation, BI-LO Holdings Foundation, Walmart Foundation, Plum Creek Foundation, and the District 5 Foundation.
A Souper meal
The Women’s Shelter will hold its 35th Annual Thanksgiving “Souper” from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Thursday at Eastminster Presbyterian Church, 3200 Trenholm Road, Columbia; and at The Manor at Doko Meadows, 171 Langford Road, Blythewood.
The “Souper” is a simple meal of soup and crackers and offers families and friends a chance to reflect on hunger and homelessness the week before the traditional Thanksgiving feast.
Admission is $2 per person, and proceeds will benefit the Women’s Shelter, which helps women build stronger lives and offers transitional housing and support.
Chick-fil-A of Columbia will sponsor the event and provide the chicken soup. All guests will receive a Chick-fil-A food coupon.
A gift to the community
BI-LO Holdings Foundation announced last week that it will donate more than $87,000 to seven Columbia nonprofit organizations in the coming weeks. The organization supports many of the charitable-giving efforts of BI-LO Holdings, the parent company of BI-LO and Winn-Dixie supermarkets.
Grants are being awarded to charitable organizations with missions to address hunger relief and hunger-related health and education issues. The foundation reviewed applications from several hundred nonprofit groups and conducted in-depth reviews of their services and community reach.
This year’s grant recipients include McGregor Presbyterian Church, Senior Resources, Hartsville Interfaith Ministries, South Carolina Recreation and Parks Association, Lexington Interfaith Community Services, Palmetto Health Foundation and Boys & Girls Clubs of the Midlands.