New interactive map launched to help find free food giveaways

Updated: Aug. 11, 2020 at 7:18 AM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - People and families in need of food now have an easier way to find out where food giveaways are happening.

The Lowcountry Food Bank, along with others, have come up with an interactive Food Finder Map.

Click here to check the map for food giveaways near your neighborhood.

The map is free for anyone to use and it helps find free food in the 10 coastal South Carolina counties served by the Lowcountry Food Bank. According to Lowcountry Food Bank officials, there are more than 300 locations included in this map.

The map is extremely easy to use. Essentially, on the website, you’ll just type in your location and then a list of food resources with available times and days for sites closest to you will be provided.

It includes three types of food distribution sites: Lowcountry Food Bank partner agency sites, coastal South Carolina school district sites, and additional food resource sites.

Officials say complexities of food distribution in the current environment and a lack of volunteers has caused almost 15% of food pantries in coastal South Carolina to close since mid-March. But, the demand for emergency or supplemental food has grown dramatically.

“On average, here at the food bank, we would see 140 to 150 people per month coming through our front doors,” LCFB Chief Development Officer Brenda Shaw said. “In April, it jumped to more than 1,000 people. Last week alone… Well it started to wane off but then last week we saw more than 120 people come in through the front door. So we have seen an uptick in the number of people coming through our front doors.”

And because of that uptick is why they felt the need to put all of the locations for food resources in one place.

The map was created through a partnership between the Lowcountry Food Bank, the College of Charleston’s Riley Center for Livable Communities and the City of Charleston.

Since the pandemic started, the Lowcountry Food Bank has seen a 484% increase in the need for food assistance at their facility.

“Of course we have seen a real stress on our food supply and financial resources,” Shaw said. “So, it’s been a struggle but everyone in the community has been so supportive of the food bank. We continue to be here and we will always be here to feed people.”

So far, there have been a total of 1,890 clicks to the Food Finder App and an average of 189 visits per week. But they’re hoping to get the word out so more people know about it.

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