As food and fuel costs soar, people experiencing layoffs due to the economy are joining the working poor at an alarming rate in facing food insecurity, the inability to access enough nutrition due to low income.
This issue has really hit home for many in our area. In Pembroke, when the building containing the old Food Bank was torn down earlier this summer many community members were left wondering how the many families in need of assistance would continue to be helped.
According to Pembroke City Councilmember Angela Reed city and community leaders have held several meetings in order to come up with a plan to continue the service and hopefully find a new permanent home for the Food Bank.
"With the hard hits our economy has taken lately the food bank has been serving so many people from Pembroke and the surrounding communities," said Reed. "Our area really needs to have this service available to those in need. The old building that housed it was donated space by First Baptist Church of Pembroke and it really dilapidated and unsafe. It had to come down. Our problem was how to continue to meet the needs of our community in a safe location. America’s Second Harvest is helping us do that."
On Saturday, Sept. 20, at the Pembroke City Hall America’s Second Harvest will be running a mobile food bank. America’s Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia was founded in 1981 as a non-profit emergency feeding program. Their main operation is the distribution of food to more than 450 non-profit agencies in the 21-county area of coastal Georgia. Their mission is to feed the hungry by distributing nutritious food to non-profit agencies and at-risk elderly and youth, to assist in disaster relief and work towards long-term solutions to hunger and poverty. In 2007 Second Harvest distributed over 4.5 million pounds of food, feeding 90,000 people, including 52,916 children.
The Saturday of the mobile food bank America’s Second Harvest is seeking volunteers to help with distribution of the food. Anyone interested in helping is asked to come to the Pembroke City Hall the morning of the mobile food bank and lend a hand.
"It truly is an opportunity to help the people in your community that are in need of assistance," said Mary Jane Crouch, Executive Director for the Coastal Georgia Chapter.
According to Crouch Second Harvest has recently expanded their goals to include permanent solutions to hunger and poverty. Through educational programs they are providing adult culinary training, after- school feeding and other educational programs.
"We look forward to starting our Kids Café program in Pembroke in the coming months," said Crouch. "The program will help feed children in the community in an after-school situation."
For more information on America’s Second Harvest or to find out how you can help in with the Pembroke area’s program please contact Karen Lackard at 236-6750.