The Lowcountry Food Bank, whose mission is to fight hunger in coastal South Carolina, announced today that it will conduct food distributions for federal employees who are furloughed or who are working as essential employees but not getting currently paid and in need of food. The Food Bank has worked closely with the Federal Executive Association of the Greater Charleston Area to help coordinated the following efforts.
The first food distribution, a Fresh for All, will take place on Friday, January 18 at 4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. (or until the food supply is exhausted) at the Gateway Open Arms food pantry, a Lowcountry Food Bank food pantry partner. Gateway Open Arms is located at 3537 S. Live Oak Drive, Moncks Corner, SC 29461. Fresh for Alls are a farmer's style market produce distribution, where individuals and families can choose fresh, nutritious foods that meet their needs.
Additionally, the Lowcountry Food Bank is preparing shelf-stable food boxes, which it plans to distribute to three of its partner food pantries. Federal workers are encouraged to visit the pantries listed below, or the Lowcountry Food Bank located at 2864 Azalea Drive, North Charleston, SC 29405 to obtain shutdown relief boxes:
East Cooper Community Outreach:
Monday-Friday 10am-4pm (843)849-9220
1145 Six Mile Rd, Mount Pleasant, SC 29466
Cathedral of Praise Bread Basket:
Monday-Friday 9:45am-12pm (843) 760-6116
3790 Ashley Phosphate Rd, North Charleston, SC 29418
Helping Hands of Goose Creek:
Monday-Friday 9am-11:30am (843)533-7132
104 B Commerce Place, Goose Creek, SC 29455
"We are already seeing an increase in demand for food assistance from families and individuals who are experiencing hardship due to the shutdown," said Pat Walker, Lowcountry Food Bank President and CEO. "We anticipate further need as furloughed federal employees and contractors go without paychecks. Our 10-county coastal South Carolina service area includes at least 10,000 federal workers. We want to fill the gap as best we can to help our public servants during this difficult time." According to the FEA, there are over 13 federal agencies in Charleston whose employees have been affected by the partial government shutdown. "The FEA is very appreciative of the community's concern and care for our impacted federal workers who are experiencing this difficult situation," said Glenn Jeffries, FEA Civilian Chairman. "It means so much to have the support of the community in which we serve."
The Lowcountry Food Bank is also accepting monetary donations that will be specifically designated to help federal workers fight hunger during the partial government shutdown. A dedicated web page has been created on the Lowcountry Food Bank website. Please click HERE to make a financial donation.
"Our normal operations continue, but any reduction in access to food resources undermines decades of progress around fighting hunger," said Pat Walker. "This partial government shutdown increases hardship for people in our community and takes valuable resources away from the underemployed and the unemployed who depend on the SNAP program. We need continuing support from our community, our donors and our food pantry partners to ensure we can properly assist people who are struggling with hunger in coastal South Carolina."
According to the USDA, SNAP benefits will continue through February, but food resource challenges for people who face food insecurity will increase if the partial government shutdown continues into March and beyond. The Lowcountry Food Bank considers resolution of the partial government shutdown an urgent matter.