EFFINGHAM COUNTY, Ga. (WTOC) - Despite wet Tuesday weather, hundreds lined up to take advantage of free food when the United Way of the Coastal Empire pulled their mobile food pantry into Effingham County.
“There is a huge need for food," said Area Director for United Way of the Coastal Empire in Effingham County Elizabeth Waters, "so, we are just here to serve those needs and meet those needs as best as possible.”
So, it’s no surprise that the line seemed to never end. Car after car loaded up with 65 pounds of food per family, completely free. The United Way is able to offer this opportunity twice a year thanks to its partnership with America’s Second Harvest.
Addressing a need that can be especially high this time of year.
“A lot of people are now being hit with those holiday bills and we’re in winter, so you know electric bills go up with the heat and everything,” said America’s Second Harvest Executive Director Mary Jane Crouch.
While the bills seem to pile up, sadly Crouch says generosity seems to go down.
“We have lots of food at the holiday season and then it tends to kind of taper off again,” she said.
That’s why the large turnout, even in the pouring rain Tuesday, was not a surprise to Crouch and should hit home with you.
“Just think about it when you go to the grocery store and think, ‘Awe maybe I won’t stop today it’s raining.’ This is when they know they can get assistance that might get them through another month.”
The images of these people, your neighbors, friends, maybe even family members standing in the rain just to get a meal something Crouch hopes comes to mind when you think about the importance of donating.
“Every little bit helps. You know, that jar of peanut butter tonight may be the only thing that child was going to eat.”
But Crouch has no doubt with your help no one will go hungry.
“When we all come together is when we can make a difference in the lives of so many people in our community.”
According to Crouch 9.6% of people in Effingham County live with food insecurity with around 17% of that being children.