SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCSC) - The Lowcountry Food Bank (LCFB) says it’s seen a 379 percent increase in the number of people who need emergency food assistance since the coronavirus pandemic began.
In the last two weeks of March, it distributed more than 800,000 meals and more than 960,000 pounds of food through its partner agencies.
On Saturday morning, there was a food distribution event at St. Paul’s Anglican Church in Summerville.
The Lowcountry Food Bank says a local couple, Michael and Pam Wilson, provided a dollar-for-dollar match up to $150,000 for every donation made toward COVID-19 food relief.
The Wilsons say since they moved to the area in 2015, they've partnered with the LCFB and reached out to find out how they could help.
"Through the news we learned about this tremendous need for food right now given the unprecedented times that we are all living through," Michael said.
The donation will be used to purchase and distribute “Fueled by Fresh” relief boxes of fresh produce and shelf-stable food designed to provide each family with one week’s worth of food.
"I think it's such privilege and an honor to help people, this crisis came on us so quickly and there's already a great need in this area and really all over the country, that people don't realize, for food and especially fresh food." Pam said.
During the distribution event, there were also baby products including diapers, food, bibs and socks.
In the last few weeks alone, the LCFB has spent more $400,000 on food and transportation.
LCFB President & CEO Pat Walker says the amazing donation has come at a very critical time. She says they are about halfway to their fundraising goal of $150,000.
"It is such a wonderful feeling for us at the Lowcountry Food Bank to be able to continue to work during these difficult times to make sure that people have the food that they need," Walker said. "We don't want anyone in our community to go to bed hungry."The food bank says about 15% of their 300 partner agencies and food pantries that deliver food directly to clients are closed because of the pandemic.
“We’re hoping this weekend, Easter weekend, people will tap in to LowcountryFoodBank.org and make that donation,” Walker said.
The food distribution event was drive-thru style, volunteers wore glove and masks as they assisted people from the community.
The LCFB and partner agencies have seen a 43 percent increase in new clients.
To donate to COVID-19 food relief efforts, visit https://www.lowcountryfoodbank.org/covid19/.
For a schedule of food distribution events and where you can find help visit https://www.lowcountryfoodbank.org/findhelp/.