SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Hunger hurts every community. Right now, organizations across the country are stepping up to help families at risk this Hunger Action Month.
America’s Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia is leading the way in the Peach State.
More than 1.5 million people statewide are combatting food insecurity and in the coastal region, over 175,000 qualify for food assistance.
“During this month, we want to make people more aware of the hunger issues that are right here in our community and the people that they may not know that are facing those decisions those tough decisions,” said Mary Jane Crouch, executive director of America’s Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia.
The pandemic, inflation, job insecurity and supply chain shortages have only added to the number of people struggling to put food on the table.
“A lot more families are at risk for hunger right now and it almost seems to be growing,” Crouch said. “You never know if the person walking next to you in the grocery store that’s picking out that food is the food that will have to get them through the next couple of weeks.”
Second Harvest started its mission in 1981. Organizers say one person is all it takes to make a difference.
“We started literally out of the back of a pickup truck,” said Crouch. “Fast forward 40 years, and this past year, we’ll have provided over 27 million pounds of food.”
Volunteers flood into the food bank every day at 3:30 a.m. to get food ready to head out into the community.
Crouch says Second Harvest has pivoted through the pandemic, but now, they’re worried about their busiest season.
“The biggest way we get that food in is through our food drives, and the last few years have been very tough for us,” Crouch explained. “A lot of schools and organizations that normally did food drives weren’t able to.
“The last quarter of the year is when we give out more food than we ever have, so we really need those food drives for our families, those seniors and the people that are out there at risk for hunger.”
Visit helpendhunger.org for more information on how to host a food drive in person or virtually.
Monetary donations can also be made on Second Harvest’s website. Just $1 can help provide five meals.