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Lowcountry Strong: Group distributing food to families in need

Updated: Apr. 2, 2020 at 7:45 AM EDT
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MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCSC) - Staff and volunteers at East Cooper Community Outreach are busy making sure food is available for Lowcountry families in need.

“We have tried to adapt to all the safety protocols that are out there but still providing the most basic need that people have which is for food," ECCO Executive Director Stephanie Kelley said.

ECCO has cut back on some of its services but is still operating the food pantry. When food is dropped off, it is immediately taken to be sanitized before it’s organized on the shelves. Food is then put into pre-packaged bags with hygiene kits to be given to families who come by the site in Mt. Pleasant. These families are able to stay in their cars as volunteers and staff pack the trunk.

“We will continue to serve the community in good times and bad times,” Kelley said.

ECCO is truly focusing on its roots during this pandemic.

“We started after Hurricane Hugo, so responding to emergencies is what ECCO does," she said. "Thirty years ago it was a hurricane, it is now a pandemic.”

Last week, ECCO served about 300 families and nearly half of them were new to the organization. ECCO usually sees 400 families in a month.

“The great thing is, we live in a community where people want to help each other. Lowcountry strong is not just a phrase, it is really a statement here in this area," Kelley said.

ECCO receives food via donations and partners like Costco, Aldi and the Lowcountry Food Bank. They are asking people to donate these most needed items at their site on Six Mile Road in Mt. Pleasant. You can also give financial donations on their website which will help people after the pandemic with rent, medical services and other necessities.

ECCO is also looking for volunteers to help out during this time. You can find more details about volunteering by clicking here.

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