Each week in November, Duke Energy is highlighting critical community partners that address food insecurities and inequities across South Carolina.
This effort will provide nearly $250,000 to about 50 feeding programs leading up to Thanksgiving Day.
Recipients include Harvest Hope Food Bank, with received $50,000 to fund mobile food pantries that serve rural areas of the Upstate and Pee Dee. The goal is to feed about 6,000 families in 11 counties, according to a news release from Duke Energy.
Harvest Hope is South Carolina’s largest food bank, providing over 22.6 million meals annually to neighbors in need across the Midlands, Pee Dee and Upstate.
“Duke Energy has been supporting Harvest Hope’s work to build a hunger-free tomorrow for over a decade, and we’re so grateful,” Erinn Rowe, CEO of Harvest Hope, said in the news release “With one in nine South Carolinians not knowing where their next meal is coming from, Duke Energy’s ongoing commitment to promote the health and success in our local communities is truly making a difference in the lives of thousands across the state.”
Duke Energy kicked off the monthlong initiative by providing FoodShare South Carolina $50,000 to enable 13 community-based organizations across the state to distribute more than 63,000 pounds of fresh produce through 4,200 family food boxes through November. One of those organizations — Mill Village Farms in Greenville — is leading the effort that provides a dozen varieties of quality fruits and vegetables that are sourced as locally and seasonally as possible. Recipe cards in English and Spanish are also included.
“Finding healthy and affordable fresh food is a challenge for many of our friends and neighbors across the state,” Mike Callahan, Duke Energy South Carolina state president, said in the release. “Every community is home to families who face hunger — a situation that many organizations across the state are working to reduce and hopefully one day eliminate.
Duke Energy employees and retirees will also be volunteering their time and efforts with these and other organizations throughout the month to assist in packing and distributing food boxes, stock food pantries, prepare and serve holiday meals as well as providing sweat equity to other feeding programs in their neighborhoods.