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Canned items are needed for food bank

Canned  food items will be accepted between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Dec. 10 in the Children’s Hospital lobby. The items will support the Lowcountry Food Bank.

Food may be dropped off at any of the bin locations from Dec. 10 to 19: Children’s Hospital lobby; Rutledge Tower lobby; Ashley River Tower  lobby; MUSC Wellness Center; and Harbor View Office Tower, HR office (1st floor).
Employees are encouraged to participate in the food drive this year only if they feel they are able to do so.  A donation as small as two cans of food will still help others in need.

by Amy Kosar
Food Solicitor for Lowcountry Food Bank
The mission of the Lowcountry Food Bank (LCFB) is to feed the hungry of the 10 coastal counties of South Carolina. LCFB solicits and distributes healthy food and grocery products to nonprofit agencies serving the poor and educates the public about the problems of and solutions to domestic hunger.  Through its network of more than 320 emergency food providers, LCFB serves low income children, families and elderly in Beaufort, Berkeley, Charleston, Colleton, Dorchester, George-town, Hampton, Horry, Jasper, and Williamsburg counties. LCFB serves almost 10 million pounds of food every year.
LCFB serves more than 154,000 people annually through the Regional Food Centers in Charleston, Myrtle Beach and Yemassee. An estimated 50,000 are still in need, making the total number of food insecure individuals 204,000. Seventy-five percent of LCFB clients report incomes below the official federal poverty level. Forty-six percent of clients served by LCFB report having to choose between food and utilities or heating fuel; 32 percent have to choose between food and their rent or mortgage; and 36 percent chose between food and medicine or medical care. Thirty-one percent of households report having at least one household member in poor health.
LCFB specifically targets children—the most vulnerable victims of hunger—with two childhood hunger feeding programs. The Kids Cafe program is an afterschool feeding initiative that provides underprivileged children with hot, healthy meals, academic assistance, and free supervision during the school week (with limited service during the summer months and holidays). In order to increase the impact of LCFB’s sponsored children feeding programs, the LCFB piloted the BackPack Program in Charleston County in 2007. The program, a community based initiative, is designed to confidentially provide low-income students with healthy, nonperishable food items and nutrition information each school weekend. Together, the Kids Cafe and BackPack Buddies programs directly serve 2,500 children every week. 
The food bank relies on a minimum of 21,000 volunteer hours a year. Without the support from these community members, the food bank’s mission would be in jeopardy. All volunteers go through a volunteer orientation conducted by the programs manager. LCFB’s volunteers receive a formal introduction, tour the facilities, and complete a volunteer information form. LCFB utilizes volunteer assistance in four areas: Agency Relations, Reclamation & Warehouse, Administration, and childhood hunger programs.
Every year, more than 150,000 pounds of food are donated to LCFB through communitybased food drives. 
For information on volunteering, advice on how to organize a  food drive, or how to donate, visit or call 747-8146.

Friday, Dec. 5, 2008

The Catalyst Online is published weekly by the MUSC Office of Public Relations for the faculty, employees and students of the Medical University of South Carolina. The Catalyst Online editor, Kim Draughn, can be reached at 792-4107 or by email, Editorial copy can be submitted to The Catalyst Online and to The Catalyst in print by fax, 792-6723, or by email to To place an ad in The Catalyst hardcopy, call Island Publications at 849-1778, ext. 201.