SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - America's Second Harvest always has to be ready to serve the hungry in our community.
That's why even with Hurricane Florence threatening potential impacts in the area, staff and volunteers at the food bank are working ahead. They weren't necessarily packing for the storm at the Pack-a-Thon on Thursday, but it could become that.
"We actually had planned this to get ready and have boxes packed, emergency-type food that we're able to distribute out to our community," said Mary Jane Crouch, Executive Director of America's Second Harvest.
Second Harvest's Annual Pack-a-Thon - on National Hunger Day during National Hunger Action Week - is preparation to help the food pantry meet future needs wherever they arise.
"We have a program called our Mobile Food Pantry where we go out to the rural communities and deliver boxes of food to people who can't drive into Savannah. We'll keep enough in stock so if we are in need by the end of the season, which we're hoping we're not, that we'll have ready packed food that we're able to provide out to the community," Crouch said.
Some of the boxes packed Thursday could go to people impacted by Florence, but for now, Second Harvest got more help because of the storm than demand from it.
"Well, we figured we're here, we've got some time, so why not."
Kyle Warren and his family evacuated to Savannah from Newburn, NC and spent part of their day volunteering at Second Harvest, keeping their hands and minds occupied.
"We're anxious for sure because we don't know what to expect when we get back. We figured we might as well make use of our time, help out some other folks," Warren said.
In doing so, help America's Second Harvest assist with both emergency and chronic need.
"We actually serve about 141,000 people each year in Coastal Georgia with food assistance, so this helps us make sure that they're able to have food on the table," Crouch said.
Last year's Pack-a-Thon was canceled when Hurricane Irma forced Savannah to be evacuated.