Duke Energy and Harvest Hope kickoff “Pack the Pantry” campaign
Duke Energy joined Harvest Hope Food Bank in Florence today to “Pack the Pantry” and kick off a monthlong campaign to support organizations in South Carolina that address food insecurities and inequities across the state.
In addition to purchasing the food that volunteers packed, today’s event also included a $100,000 grant to Harvest Hope to help expand mobile food pantries to those in the most rural areas of the Pee Dee. Duke Energy’s monthlong initiative will provide over $325,000 to more than 40 feeding programs leading up to the Thanksgiving holiday and culminating in final surprise grant announcements on Giving Tuesday.
“Every community in South Carolina is home to families who face hunger,” said Mike Callahan, Duke Energy South Carolina state president. “The statistics are startling – nearly 500,000 of our friends and neighbors lack consistent access to high-quality meals, and 1 in 7 of those are children.”
“As thoughts turn to the holidays and gatherings with families around dinner tables, it’s important to support the organizations who do the great work to fight hunger across our state,” Callahan said. “Our hope is by shining a light on these efforts, these organizations will continue to receive the support they need to help reduce and hopefully one day eliminate hunger in our communities.”
The inaugural “Pack the Pantry” event brought together dozens of volunteers from the downtown Florence business community to help pack a thousand boxes of shelf-stable food at the FMU Performing Arts Center that will be distributed at food banks during the Thanksgiving holiday. The event also included a public drive-through for food donations.
Harvest Hope is South Carolina’s largest food bank, providing more than 20 million meals on average to neighbors in need across the Midlands, Pee Dee and Upstate.
“It truly takes the entire community to end hunger, and we’re so glad to have the continued support of Duke Energy,” said Erinn Rowe, CEO of Harvest Hope. “So many holiday memories involve food, and together we’re able to ensure our working families across South Carolina have memories of their favorite dish this season and not of an empty plate.”
Throughout November, Duke Energy will highlight the critical community partners like Harvest Hope that do this incredible work, including Mill Village Farms, FoodShare South Carolina, United Way Association of South Carolina and AIM, among many others. Duke Energy employees and retirees will be volunteering their time and efforts with these and other organizations throughout the month to assist in packing and distributing food boxes, as well as providing sweat equity to other feeding programs in their neighborhoods.