In 1981 an Emergency Food Box distribution program was started up in the Columbia community to help the needy. From that beginning Harvest Hope has become a regional food distribution organization that brings food, comfort and hope to millions of hungry individuals and families in 20 central South Carolina counties. Now the first designated donation site at West Columbia's S.C. Farmer's Market has been opened for Harvest Host collections.
The site began collecting donations of fresh produce from local farmers and wholesale warehouses on August 25. Product may now be delivered by market vendors and visitors at the designated SCDA farmers shed stall each Tuesday and Thursday, from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Harvest Hope will collect the product between 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. on those two days. The area designated for pickup and delivery will depend on the season and time of year.
The South Carolina Department of Agriculture is sponsoring the location. In addition to stall space, SCDA will provide pallets and the use of a forklift to load product onto Harvest Hope's truck.
"This is a great way for farmers and market vendors to participate in bringing a harvest of hope to the community," says Hugh Weathers, S.C. Commissioner of Agriculture. "Sharing their bounty is their business and helping their neighbors is their passion. We are delighted to play a small role in this effort to get food where it is needed most."
"This collection center at the SC State Farmers Market will be a real boost to our efforts to provide nutritious, quality local produce to hungry families in South Carolina communities," says Harvest Hope chief operating officer Chris Daly. "We are grateful to Commissioner Weathers and his staff for their work in providing this valuable space that will make it easy for local produce providers to help us in our mission."
Harvest Hope Food Bank is headquartered in a 40,000 square foot facility at 2220 Shop Road in Columbia that operates as the food bank's primary warehouse and distribution center, administrative center and agency distribution hub for a 20-county service area