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It is a humbling experience for someone to realize they cannot provide food for their family and must ask others for help. A difficult question they face is often who to ask for help. Many do not want friends or family members to know they have reached a time in their lives when they cannot feed their family, and it is equally difficult to ask for help from strangers.

In early November I heard a story from a mother who probably thought she would never find herself asking others how to feed her children. She struggled to hold back her tears while we talked. She said she needed information, and she hoped that I could help. She needed help for herself and her children. They were out of food, and she had nowhere to turn.

She had recently lost her job, and quickly found herself running out of money. The week before she had run low on food and stopped eating, so she could feed her children to end their hunger. She was hoping something would turn up; something about their situation would change. However, by the end of the week, she knew she could not go on. She had to eat, and they all needed food. I don’t know how they made it through the weekend, but by Monday morning she knew she had to reach out for help.

She was so embarrassed, I knew she had been dreading calling us. Choking back her tears, she told me a variety of circumstances lead to her situation, mostly stemming from losing her job. She said she was not the type to ask for handouts. She had never had to ask anyone for help like this before and did not want anyone she knew finding out she could not provide for her children. The realization had obviously been devastating. I assured her that we valued the confidentiality of all of our clients, and we would make her visit to us as easy and dignified as possible.

I never found out her name. I can only hope she overcame her fears and came to us. People like her define Harvest Hope’s mission. They are why we are here. For many, the few visits to us get them through a tough or uncertain time and they can restore balance to their lives. Through her tears and sorrow, I could hear this woman, this mother, had the grit, determination and drive to provide for her children.

With our help, I know she can find the means to get through her current crisis and get back on her feet.

With our help, others like this desperate but determined mother will provide for their loved ones.

With your help, we will continue our mission and make sure we are here for them when they need us.

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Harvest Hope Food Bank logo
In Support of Harvest Hope Food Bank
Harvest Hope is South Carolina’s largest food bank, providing over 20 million meals on average to neighbors in need across the Midlands, Pee Dee and Upstate. Harvest Hope is on a mission to eliminate hunger and food insecurity in South Carolina. We rescue nutritious food from stores throughout the state and distribute it to food pantries, shelters, and soup kitchens. 

We operate programs that provide food for our most vulnerable citizens – children, seniors, and rural residents who don’t have access to grocery stores. We also run our own emergency food pantries in Greenville and Columbia where anyone in need can get a week’s supply of groceries for free. 

Harvest Hope began in 1981 as the result of a shared vision of business leaders and the faith community, who set out to provide for the hungry in Columbia. Since then, Harvest Hope has increased its mission to feed the hungry across 20 counties in South Carolina.
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