COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Hello, I'm Denise Holland, CEO of Harvest Hope Food Bank. When Hurricane Irma's uncertain track put our state at risk of significant damage, you, our citizens rose to the challenge of preparing yourself and preparing to help people in need.
Harvest Hope is the lead emergency food bank for disaster relief in South Carolina. That means we not only help coordinate with the state's other Feeding America food banks, but we also help provide the food for emergency shelters, we mobilize trucks to take food into areas cut off by a storm, and we prepare to help support our sister food banks in other South Carolina cities, when their staff or facilities are victims. So we have get ready – early.
You were there to help. In the days before Hurricane Irma made landfall, an army of caring South Carolinians showed up at our Columbia, Florence and Greenville locations to volunteer. Dozens of college students from different schools packed emergency food boxes. Local churches, individuals and companies came, called and donated food, time and money. Members of the South Carolina State Guard showed up to help, the say before they deployed to the coast and then again after the storm passed, to help feed families headed home to hurricane-ravaged areas.
In record time, Harvest Hope had more than 12-thousand emergency food boxes packed and ready to roll. It was a beautiful sight, because of your generosity!
Thankfully, Hurricane Irma's impact on South Carolina was not as great as some expected. But, as we watch Hurricane Maria develop, we know there will be future storms and future needs. When those storms hit, I'm confident disaster will not overcome us --- because together… we are South Carolina Strong!