The Gift of Giving is Growing at The Food Bank

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COLUMBIA - Did you know, just $10 will provide 110 meals for the hungry?   According to officials, the gift for giving is growing at The Food Bank in Columbia.  The need for food and fresh produce is always must, but Executive Director Peggy Kirkpatrick said food donations increase around the holidays.  "We've been incredibly blessed with increased food donations, increased financial donations and increased volunteer support this year. We have not seen a decrease in anything," said Kirkpatrick.

Kirkpatrick said a recent survey showed The Food Bank serves approximately 108,000 people a month.  This year for the holiday season, The Food Bank's goal is to receive enough food and funding so it can provide 15,000,000 meals for those in need.  Kirkpatrick said, "The holidays are unique for organizations like ours because people have a tendency to think more and more of the hungry around the holidays."

However, even though food and funding has increased over the years, there are still 30,000 to 40,000 people that need donations but do not receive them. 

Volunteer Allyson Schwartz works at The Food Bank year-round and she says she notices an increase in the amount of food and volunteers around the holiday season. Schwartz said, "It's really nice to walk out of here and know that I fed 2,000 kid's mouths or their families, their parents, their cousins, their grandparents. It's really nice to know that I made a difference to the less fortunate in my community."

Next Wednesday, the Columbia mayor will be holding a news conference at The Food Bank to gear up for the holidays and will bring a challenge for non-profit.