Forklifts instead of food: Spending of Facebook campaign money under fire

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A pair of re-furbished forklifts and a room renovation is how the Lowcountry Food Bank is planning on spending $70,000. The Charleston community hit the "like" button on facebook over 160,000 times to secure the money. But now, the voters are disappointed how it's being spent.

The Lowcountry Food Bank's Executive Director, Jermaine Husser says he felt the same way. Until he was told the money given to his non-profit organization was specifically designated by Wal-Mart for improvements of infrastructure.

"We were just as disappointed at first that we couldn't spend it on food cause we understand this is the food business," says Husser.  "But when we thought about it and we looked at the other resources we could use to further reach more people in a quicker manner... infrastructure is what we always need."

The Food Bank's Director of Distribution George Buell spends a lot of his time on forklifts. He says the money is being spent in the right place.

"In many respects it's like making an investment... that investment yields down the road," says Buell.

"Over the course of the next three to five years this $70,000 donation is going to be able to move far more than $70,000 of extra food out into the community."

Buell says a 10% increase in efficiency will be seen immediately.

As for the money breakdown? The Executive Director says $30,000 will be spent on re-furbished forklifts and the rest will go to the renovation of an area used for their Backpack Buddies project.

The Food bank has already received the money and expects to start the renovation and purchase the pair of forklifts in the next month.

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