Darlington Food Bank seeks community help
By Samantha Lyles, Staff Writer, email@example.com
Hunger doesn’t take a holiday, and those in the Darlington area who are unemployed, homeless, or in a financial bind know they can find help at The Lord Cares, but the little food bank needs your help to keep serving the community.
For almost three decades, The Lord Cares has provided emergency food supplies, hygiene and toiletry items, and sometimes financial help to those in demonstrable need. Volunteers say those needs only intensify when the weather turns cold – bringing higher energy bills and sometimes health problems.
“We have people come in asking for help to pay their light bill or their water bill, and we’ve had several lately asking for help to buy medicine, people who weren’t eligible for the (Darlington County) Free Medical Clinic because they didn’t have any income,” says volunteer Mary Butler, noting that financial donations are needed as much as donations of food.
Butler, a volunteer with The Lord Cares for nearly 27 years, was the self-described “loudmouth” who pushed Rev. Olin Whitener to establish the food bank to catch people who were falling through the cracks of the social service system. She says there are still many people who need a helping hand to feed themselves and their families during rough patches, and The Lord Cares serves that purpose.
Donations of food are needed and welcome, with non-perishable items like powdered milk always in short supply. Canned meats are also needed, along with muffin mix and cereal. Hygiene items like soap and shampoo, deodorant, and toilet tissue are always needed. Kitchen items like paper towels, paper plates, and plastic cutlery are also wanted, along with an item most donors wouldn’t think of: a manual can opener.
“When we have homeless people come in, sometimes the canned food we give them doesn’t have a pop top, so they need a can opener,” says volunteer Sandra Timmons. “That’s an affordable thing people can buy several of for just a few dollars.”
If you can manage to donate some goods or funds to help others, perhaps you might consider chipping in a few dollars more to help The Lord Cares with a facility improvement. Longtime volunteer Bryant Gardner has told the News and Press that the TLC building, located at 201 Grove Street, needs a new roof and any help the public could provide is welcome.
To learn more about The Lord Cares, call (843) 395-1001. They are open Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 10 am until 12 noon.