COVID-19 Impact: One SC Fund Boosts Food Assistance Programs
April 21, 2021
The effects of COVID-19 extended far beyond the health-related risks, with many South Carolinians finding themselves unemployed or experiencing a reduction in work hours, both resulting in loss of income. With less income, many had to make difficult decisions to pay bills and to purchase essential goods. To support the increased need, the One SC Fund, housed at Central Carolina Community Foundation, provided grants to nonprofits serving their communities through food assistance.
In Chester and Fairfield Counties, the nonprofit GRASP used its One SC Fund: COVID-19 Response Grant to provide nutritious food to over 800 people. With food on the table, the families were able to use their income for other necessities, such as rent and utility payments.
“We had a single mom come into the office seeking assistance. She had three young sons, and her hours had been cut back severely because of COVID-19,” Shelley Price, Executive Director of GRASP, says. “GRASP helped her with food for several months and paid the deposit on her electric bill. The assistance allowed her to keep food on the table for her young children and keep her utilities on when she needed them most. Luckily, she lives very close to the GRASP office, and her sons were able to pull a wagon to GRASP and help load up the food since she did not have transportation. This young woman has been able to get back on her feet because of the assistance she received at GRASP.”
The United Way of Kershaw County utilized its COVID-19 Grant to serve Kershaw County residents in many ways, including helping those with mental illness, aiding through rent and utility assistance, providing personal hygiene bags, and providing school backpacks and supplies. Another vital way United Way of Kershaw County assisted its community was the Mobile Nutrition Center, which provided on-site distribution and delivery of over 200,000 pounds of lean meat, fresh fruits and vegetables, and non-perishables to 11,583 people.
“The Mobile Nutrition Center allows people to focus on other challenges created by this pandemic because we put food on their table,” Donald Supplee, President of the United Way of Kershaw County, says. “One man came into our office after losing his job because of COVID-19. He had never been in the position where he needed to ask for help. He was embarrassed, but he explained he was raising three teenage sons who are hard to keep fed even when he could afford groceries. We were so happy to be able to load his car full of food.”
Through the One SC Fund grant recipients, over 500,000 South Carolinians had access to healthy food throughout the pandemic, allowing them to focus on their families’ health and well-being. The Community Foundation is proud to be a part of a collaboration that benefits and supports our state.
Individuals wishing to learn more or donate to the One SC Fund can do so by visiting www.OneSCFund.org.