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
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).
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 http://www.lowcountryfoodbank.org or call 747-8146.
Friday, Dec. 5, 2008