Local food pantry struggles to meet community's needs

A non-profit trying to help needy families is now in need themselves. Local food pantry, Helping Hands of Goose Creek, says the community's needs are growing, and it is struggling to meet people's demands each month.

"It's very difficult for all of us because we do this as a mission to help people," Client Coordinator Cheri Heisler said.

Helping Hands says the community's needs are up because people can't afford the cost of groceries, and supplies from the federal government and grant funding to the organization are down, making it a struggle for the organization to help needy families in the Berkeley County, Goose Creek, and Moncks Corner areas.

During any given month the organization gives food to more than 750 family members, and that number is growing by 10-15% each month according to the board of directors.

"Unfortunately we're seeing a tremendous growth trend, probably within the last six months, and we've talked to the other food pantries and they're experiencing the same thing. There just isn't enough food to go around," board president Gene Alaura said.

Alaura expects the people's needs to be even greater with the holidays fast approaching. The organization says despite struggles to meet the community's needs, it will continue to help people as much as it can.

"It's just so very wonderful for them to have that feeling that somebody really cares," Heisler said.

In addition to providing food, the organization also helps people with budgeting classes, GED, and literacy programs. Twelve Goose Creek churches started the non-profit back in 1987.

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