Group of people volunteering in a foodbank

Fighting hunger feeds the soul

A private jet, a trip around the world, a yacht – for the average American, these are unaffordable luxuries. But food is an unaffordable luxury for 1 in 7 South Carolinians who struggle every day to meet one of life’s basic needs.

Though surrounded by signs of prosperity, some of our neighbors are forced to choose between food, utilities or medical care.

Hunger hurts a person’s ability to learn or to get a job. Inadequate nutrition harms both mental and physical health. Food insecurity can even increase criminal behavior.

There are so many ways people can help. Soup kitchens, food banks, children’s backpack programs and senior feeding programs all need donations of food, money and time.

There are opportunities to give by cooking, serving, cleaning, delivering meals and picking up donations or organizing food drives. These efforts can be rewarding projects for families, civic and church groups, scout troops and schools. 

Donations from restaurants and supermarkets, as well as gifts of “imperfect” fruits and vegetables from farms and gardens, are welcomed by most soup kitchens.

These programs provide critical meal-to-meal solutions for food insecurity. But how can we eliminate hunger? Each of us can contribute in our own way. Working with individuals and groups on resume writing and job interviewing, computer skills, nutrition and eating well on a budget, or gardening can make an impact. Teaching skills such as painting, auto maintenance, or cooking can provide a basis for ending the cycle of hunger.

As we enter into a new year, consider how you can contribute to wiping out hunger in your community.

Suggestions for items that can be donated include:           

Food Banks

  • Canned or dried beans
  • Canned chicken or tuna
  • Canned fruits and vegetables
  • Oatmeal, grits or cream of wheat
  • Peanut butter
  • Dried fruit
  • Shelf stable milk 
  • Crackers
  • Nuts

Children's Backpack Programs

  • Crackers
  • Small packs of Goldfish or pretzels
  • Granola bars
  • Peanut butter
  • Packs of instant oatmeal
  • Cereal
  • 100 percent fruit snacks
  • 100 percent fruit juice drink boxes
  • Containers of fruit
  • Containers of pudding

“If you can’t feed one hundred people, then just feed one.”  Mother Teresa