Local Nonprofits Join Pay it Forward Charleston

Pay It Forward and Feed the Need are partnering with Our Lady of Mercy Community Outreach and Tricounty Family Ministries to expand distribution of weekly grocery bags including fresh produce to food and beverage employees and other community members needing emergency food who have been hit hard by COVID-19.

Our Lady of Mercy Community Outreach will service those in downtown Charleston at their Neighborhood House location and James, Johns, and Wadmalaw Islands at their Outreach location on Johns Island. Tricounty Family Ministries will serve those in the North Charleston and surrounding areas.

"Feed the Need is honored to be able to raise money to help those in need in this time of crisis," Mickey Bakst, president of Feed the Need and manager of Charleston Grill, said. "This is what community is all about."

"As we continue to scale our operations and restaurants begin to open back up, we knew we needed to find new points of distribution for our Pay it Forward Charleston grocery bags," Kara Pate, director of marketing for Butcher & Bee, said. "Tricounty Family Ministries and Our Lady of Mercy Community Outreach were quick to offer help. They already have a team of skilled volunteers and a system in place for storing and handling the food. They are tremendous partners in allowing us to serve our current mission while also serving theirs as well."

“We are committed, as always, to ensuring that the most vulnerable among us receive the critical support they need to not fall behind," Ericka Plater, executive director of Our Lady of Mercy Community Outreach, said. "Teaming up with these extraordinary groups helps local farmers, eliminates potential waste and makes a bigger impact on the community where we live, work and play. And we are proud to be playing our part."

  • Our Lady of Mercy Community Outreach service times:
    • The Outreach – 1864 Brownswood Rd., Johns Island: Mon. – Thurs. / 10:00am – 1:30pm.
    • Neighborhood House – 79 America St., Charleston: Mon. – Thurs. / 8:30am – 11:30am.
  • Tricounty Family Ministries service times:
    • 2105 Cosgrove Ave., North Charleston: Weds. / 11:00am - 1:00pm.

“Tricounty Family Ministries is excited to partner with Pay It Forward, so that we can serve the folks who have served us," Kara Stewart, executive director of Tricounty Family Ministries, said. "The food and beverage industry has been so generous in providing meals for our neighbors in need for so many years. We’re glad to be part of the effort to support them during these uncertain times.”

This partnership will enable this program to grow and reach more of the community as a whole as well as help the nonprofits gain access to fresh produce that are otherwise hard to get during this time. Although stimulus checks are coming in, there are still individuals and families falling through the cracks.

“In true Charleston fashion it is a collaboration of community, and we are fortunate to have found a team willing to help us help others,” Pate said.

Food and beverage workers in need of a grocery bag can go to: https://bit.ly/FreeBagCHS

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