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      Air National Guard makes critical donation

      Columbia, SC - With the Thanksgiving holiday just days away there are countless people in the Midlands who could use an extra hand this holiday season.

      The Harvest Hope Food Bank got a much needed boost to help do that Monday morning. The South Carolina Air National Guard dropped off more than 1600 pounds of food and supplies, including dozens of turkeys.

      "I'm thankful that God has allowed us to be alive to do this for other folks who are less fortunate in the community," said Master Sergeant John Jones.

      This is a critical time of year for Harvest Hope. Demand goes up and donations dwindle with people out of town for the holiday between now and January. Donations like the one made by the Air National Guard can make all the difference. Harvest Hope officials say their demand has gone up roughly 45 percent over this time last last year.

      "It's a staggering number of people and it's climbed the last couple years as the economy creates more people in need," said Chris Daley, COO of Harvest Hope Food Bank. "This is the point of year where we try to gather everything we possibly can and put it away for the really lean months that are right around the corner. When we go into next year we have to have it stockpiled."