Hunger is not prejudiced. It impacts people of all ages and backgrounds, not just the homeless and unemployed. The sad truth is that nearly 350,000 people are food-insecure across Harvest Hope’s 20-county service area, which means they often do not know where their next meal will come from. And with the arrival of colder weather, many of them will have to choose between paying for food and heating their homes.
Nationally, a shocking one in seven Americans — or 46.5 million people — must rely on food banks. The increased demand for hunger relief amidst declining financial support and reduced donations to food banks and other hunger-relief organizations is a problem around the country and in our own communities.
Alleviating hunger is a critical first step to helping struggling families achieve economic stability, ultimately leading to long-term success for everyone in the community. By working together as community partners, we can help our neighbors get back on their feet.
Bank of America and Feeding America are teaming up to raise awareness — and support — for hunger relief and Harvest Hope through this year’s Give A Meal campaign. For every $1 donated through the Give a Meal website, the Bank of America Charitable Foundation will give $2 more. Through this campaign, you can support food banks in the continued fight to help provide hunger relief across South Carolina. Donors can find out more about this campaign at bankofamerica.com/give.
Ongoing gifts of money, food and time help food banks ensure sustainable levels of food to meet service demands. Harvest Hope can turn every dollar donated into five meals, allowing us to serve 9,700 households every week.
When struggling families and individuals receive enough food during their most absolute hour of need and anxiety, they in turn need assistance just three times on average before getting back on their feet. They realize, or return to, their goals of self sufficiency. They continue to struggle, but can return to an active role in the community, working and striving to take part in a sustainable future for everyone.
Partnerships between charitable organizations, business leaders and the community are the foundation for affecting positive change in South Carolina. Let’s make sure our friends and neighbors don’t have to make the difficult choices between of putting food on the table or paying for basic needs. We can all make a difference and provide healthy meals to restore balance and hope to families, seniors and children in our community.
Chief Executive Officer, Harvest Hope Food Bank