During a normal month, the Lowcountry Food Bank’s on-site emergency food pantry sees about 125 visitors. Over the first week of April, more than 400 people visited as residents began feeling the pressure of food insecurity from coronavirus-related closures.
“We are seeing more and more requests for food. The need is very real,” says Brenda Shaw, the organization’s director of development.
“It could be your next door neighbor that’s needing food assistance right now,” says Shaw. “This is hitting everyone.”
Organizers at the pantries stocked by Lowcountry Food Bank have reported that 40 percent of people walking through their doors are doing so for the first time.
“Every food distribution we’ve had … there are so many people that are saying, ‘I never needed help before,'” Shaw says. “It is a first-time experience for many people.”
The food bank has seen the same shortages as consumers as they work to buy non-perishable items. With produce suppliers starting to ship seasonal harvests, LFB will be able to buy prepackaged fruits and vegetables for those needing assistance.
“The safest and easiest way” for people to help, Shaw says, is to donate at lowcountryfoodbank.org. Currently, donations are being matched dollar for dollar.