Food banks need seconds

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Donations at Augusta-area food banks have increased during the holiday season, but so has the need for food, according to agency directors.

Zachary Mitchell loads boxes onto a forklift at Golden Harvest Food Bank in Augusta, where donations have increased, but so has the number of mouths to feed.  Michael Holahan/Staff
Michael Holahan/Staff
Zachary Mitchell loads boxes onto a forklift at Golden Harvest Food Bank in Augusta, where donations have increased, but so has the number of mouths to feed.

"We have a tremendous need," said Vikki Adkins, director of development at Golden Harvest Food Bank. "It seems the need is increasing."

In the past six months, the number of counties Golden Harvest serves has increased from 25 to 30 with the addition of five counties in South Carolina, she said.

And while the public is responding with generosity and with more community food drives and an outpouring of good will, Golden Harvest is still in need of food because family visits are up while corporate sponsorship is down.

Family visits this year increased to 250,000 from 228,000 last year, said Armen Boyajian, Golden Harvest's director of corporate relations.

"Donated food from manufacturers has gone down," he said. "Those companies have become more aware of the costs of overproducing, so we get less of the products."

Karen Perry, operations manager for Area Churches Together Serving in Aiken, said the agency always has a need for food.

"We've had a 30 percent increase of clients over last year," she said. "We find we're spending more money on food than we budgeted for. We're seeing people we haven't seen before."

Ms. Perry attributes the increase to higher gasoline and utility costs. When families already barely getting by encounter some unexpected expense such as illness, they have nowhere else to go, she said.

In Columbia County, the shelves are stocked because of community initiatives and generosity, said Lou Reda, director of Columbia County Cares.

"Since around Thanksgiving, we've had a couple of real nice donations from area schools and churches," he said. "Our food supply is adequate."

Reach Sylvia Cooper at (706) 823-3228 or sylvia.cooper@augustachronicle.com.

WHERE TO DONATE


AREA CHURCHES TOGETHER SERVING: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday; 340 Park Ave. S.W., Aiken; accepts donations of food and other material items; (803) 649-3800.


Columbia County Cares: 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday; 1959 Appling-Harlem Highway, Appling; (706) 541-2834.


GOLDEN HARVEST FOOD BANK: www.goldenharvest.org, or Golden Harvest Food Bank Augusta; 3310 Commerce Drive; (706) 736-1199, or Golden Harvest Food Bank Aiken; 13 Enterprise Ave.; (803) 648-0752.

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mastersmoney
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mastersmoney 12/13/07 - 02:58 am
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Once again, Columbia County

Once again, Columbia County has everything, and Richmond County has a shortage. Why cant we do things in Richmond County the same way they do things in Columbia County? Someone over there is doing something right.

mastersmoney
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mastersmoney 12/13/07 - 02:59 am
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Once again, Columbia County

Once again, Columbia County has everything, and Richmond County has a shortage. Why cant we do things in Richmond County the same way they do things in Columbia County? Someone over there is doing something right.

aunox
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aunox 12/13/07 - 08:33 am
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Columbia County has

Columbia County has established programs in place like "It's Spooky to be Hungry", founded here locally in the CSRA. All it takes is somebody who cares enough to get it started in your neighborhood and motivate the community to keep it going!
http://www.spookytobehungry.org/

What a Day
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What a Day 12/13/07 - 09:50 am
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If I'm not mistaking,

If I'm not mistaking, Richmond County has several programs downtown that assist the needy and provide for the homeless. Also, if I may add, James Brown was always giving away food and toys in Richmond County. Don't put down Richmond County because another county is doing something remarkable. It really doesn't matter which county is doing the good deed, just as long as they are doing it. If you want something done, remember, you can do it too.

mgroothand
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mgroothand 12/13/07 - 12:52 pm
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I once asked a grocery store

I once asked a grocery store clerk what happens to that rib roast after the expiration date which so happened to be the next day. "It gets thrown out" she replied. So, if onthe 13th day the $26 roast is perfectly good and kept under refrigeration, on the 14th day it gets chucked? If that is true, what a waste!

bubba01
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bubba01 12/13/07 - 04:52 pm
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.....

.....

heres14u
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heres14u 12/13/07 - 05:33 pm
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In my opinion it's as simple

In my opinion it's as simple as this...

There are more takers in Richmond County and less givers,
and more givers in Columbia county and less takers.

There you go.

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