SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Nationwide, more than 40 million people get food assistance through the help of community service programs.

The pandemic taught us the true meaning of community — people from all walks of life realizing when we help each other we can change lives.

“Until I walk in their shoes, I don’t know what they’re going through. So you never know what difference you can make by volunteering,” Mary Jane Crouch, the Executive Director for America’s Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia, explained.

An organization run by helping hands, America’s Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia said the number of people trying to bounce back is growing.

“You know, at one point we were actually looking at close to a 100% increase in what we were doing,” Crouch said. “A lot of people have still not recovered. They’ve gone through all of their savings, they’ve maxed out their credit cards just to try to stay in their homes because a lot of people couldn’t work while their children were in school.”

With one in eight Georgians still at risk for food insecurity, Second Harvest averages about 10 food drives a month for a need that is both consistent and growing in many rural areas.

The food bank doesn’t have the Georgia National Guard anymore to help run their donation drives. They’re now relying solely on community service, but without consistent volunteers, they can’t get food to families in need.

“One person can make a difference on others’ lives. We know we are here because people cared about the community and we do what we do because of that,” Crouch said, adding her wish for people to continue stepping up to be the helping hand for those who are hurting.

Second Harvest needs volunteers for a Chatham County mass food distribution at Memorial Stadium on Friday, Oct. 1. Click or tap HERE to volunteer.

The charity is also looking for organizations, companies, churches and community partners to host food drives. Visit HERE to register.