Harvest Hope holds ‘Fill the Gap’ campaign to restock high demand items

Harvest Hope Food Bank announced a new food initiative this month called 'Fill the Gap.'

Columbia, S.C. (WOLO) — Harvest Hope Food Bank announced a new food initiative this month called ‘Fill the Gap.’

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Harvest Hope has seen record numbers of people needing help the past few months.

“People need food 24/7. So our mission was critical before COVID, and now just like any other crisis, it’s very critical,” said Taylor Davids, Development and Communications Specialist with Harvest Hope.

The goal of the ‘Fill the Gap’ August food initiative is to restock different items each week that are in high demand. This includes canned meats and meals, macaroni and cheese, and canned fruits and vegetables.

“We’ve had a significant drop in food drives over the summer, just with companies not being in, with people working remote. So we haven’t’ seen those donations continue to flow in,” said Davids. “If you’re on the fence about giving, think about if you were in these people’s shoes and how people would help you. And so we just hope people will continue to lend a hand to their neighbors.”

The food bank has also added a question to their intake process about employment status.

“So we’re five months into this thing now, kind of see where we are with unemployment status as far as the clientele that we’re serving, where we stand. So as of right now, about 40% of the people that you see coming through the line are either unemployed or furloughed,” said Davids.

Recent changes to unemployment benefits may have led to once again an increase in the number of people coming to Harvest Hope.

“I had a few people last week where I asked the question and they’re like ‘Oh I’m furloughed. I worked this job for 10 years and I’m furloughed,’ and it’s heartbreaking,” said Davids.

Remember your neighbors as we continue to navigate through this pandemic together.

“People need our help. They are in positions that they’ve never been in before, there are people that have never visited a food bank before. Add so it’s just very important that we get the community to support so we can continue to help people,” said Davids.

In the past four months, Harvest Hope’s Midlands branch has helped fill the gap for over 209,780 individuals throughout the community.

The schedule for the ‘Fill the Gap’ campaign this month is as follows:

  • August 8-14 — Canned meals and/or meats (beef stew, spaghetti and meatballs, ravioli)
  • August 15-21 — Macaroni and Cheese
  • August 22-28 — Canned fruits and vegetables

Collection boxes will be located at the Midlands branch at 2220 Shop Road in Columbia.

Harvest Hope is still in need of volunteers and if you’d like to help you can find more information by clicking here.

Categories: Local News, News, State