A blitz to feed the hungry at Lowcountry Food Bank

File Photo (WCIV)

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- It may be cold outside but things are heating up at the Lowcountry Food Bank. For the next 48 hours ABC News 4 is helping the LCFB help beat hunger one donation at a time.

While many are thinking about the delicious Thanksgiving meal they will be having later this week, one in four children in our area are going to bed hungry. But it's not just Thanksgiving that has so many families in need.

"It's not just a holiday need," said Communications and Special Events Manager Holly Shinn. "Pretty much 365 days a year people in our are food insecure."

Each day the LCFB advocates on behalf of the 220,000 families, children and elderly we serve throughout our 10 county service area and they need your help!

"We need volunteers all the time and we need folks out in the community doing food drives just like this," said Miriam Langley, VP of Development and Communications. "We need folks making donations online and really just helping us spread hunger awareness and letting the community know the need is there but the community has stepped up to help."

If you would like to help the food bank you can donate canned goods at Lowcountry Food Bank donation centers or drop off a monetary donation. Volunteers are always welcome and you can even take a tour of the facility to learn more about hunger in the community.

"It makes a difference between having something on the table to eat and not having anything in the cupboard," said LCFB President and CEO Pat Walker. "It really changes lives."

Every little bit helps. Every non-perishable item makes a difference in the life of a child, family or senior in the Lowcountry.{}

"We continue to see a demand for our services," said Langley. "Families are continuing to make choices between paying for their utilities and paying for food. We are continuing to see seniors in need. We just had a reduction in SNAP benefits so we're seeing that trickle in our doors as well."

Shinn says that the Meals on Wheels Association of America ranks South Carolina eighth in the nation for senior hunger.

"A lot of times senior citizens are forced to choose between medical care and food costs," she said. "So that's something we want to be able to help the segment (of the population) that's given us so much."

During the last few months of 2013, the LCFB will take part in more than 100 community food drives.{}

Running the LCFB is no easy feat."It is quite the effort to move 19 million pounds of food a year out into the community," said Shinn. "But we have an infrastructure in place that does make that possible in our 60,000 square foot warehouse."

And distributing all of that food is a team effort."The food goes to our almost 300 partner agencies so that{} they can get it out to people in our community," said Walker. "We cannot do this without their help."

But don't let the pallets with over one million pounds of food that line their warehouse walls fool you.

"The need outpaces what we can provide but we do our best every day," said Walker. "The community is hugely responsive and so generous."

It's not just partner agencies that distribute the food, LCFB has their own programs as well.Their Supper Production Kitchen runs 'Kids Cafe' that provides nutritious meals to children after school. They also run 'Backpack Buddies,' distributing backpacks filled with food to kids who are at risk of weekend hunger.Shinn said it might be hard to imagine that a child can go home from school on Friday and not eat again until they get to school on Monday."Fortunately through the support of so many partners, donors and volunteers who pack the backpacks, several thousand children a week do not have to face that reality," said Shinn.

Monetary donations can be made to or dropped off at 2864 Azalea Dr., Charleston, SC 29405.

Langley said just one dollar can feed a family of six.

If you would rather collect food items, the following good are always in need.

  • Pasta
  • Cereal
  • Rice
  • Canned vegetables and fruits
  • Canned meats
  • Beans

You can find a complete list of items here.

If you feel like you can't afford to donate food or money but you still want to help, Walker said the food bank is always in need of volunteers.

The gift of time is an invaluable gift," she said. "They can come into the warehouse, help us sort food, run food drives in their own neighborhood, help us work in administration. That gift of time is just incredible for us."

Remember those in need this Thanksgiving. Together, we can end hunger!