Harvest Hope Food Bank need increases

Volunteers fill orders for those in need at the Harvest Hope Food Bank on Shop Road in Columbia.

COLUMBIA (WACH) -- As soon as volunteers fill an order at Harvest Hope Food Bank in Columbia, another order takes its place just as quickly for a person in need."The demand is just tremendous right now," says Elizabeth Quackenbush of Harvest Hope Food Bank.Quackenbush says there has been a 45-percent increase in the number of people looking for an extra hand this year as opposed to last. She says more than half of their clients choose between heating their home or buying food."Lots of people in this economy are the underemployed," says Quackenbush. "Some of them are working two jobs and they still don't have enough to provide for their families."Demand is up and donations have not matched that spike. Meanwhile the face of hunger is changing as the economy continues to sputter."We see people who have actually been volunteers here who are now in line for food because this economy has been so tough on people," says Quackenbush.Harvest Hope is seeing more and more repeat customers, but the work being done there is making a difference and getting results."Typically a family comes three times and then can get back on their feet and handle the crisis," says Quackenbush.Unfortunately, more and more people are coming at time of year when donations tend to dwindle. WACH Fox is teaming up with the Harvest Hope Food Bank to help fight the problem. On December 1 WACH Fox will hold its 12th annual Share Your Holiday Food Drive. Over the years, it has grown into one of the largest food drives in the state and has impacted the lives of countless people.

You can drop off items at any of these places:

Downtown Columbia: First Baptist Church, Hampton & Marion StreetsLexington: Palmetto Citizens FCU, the corner of Hwy 378 and Hwy 6Plus, there are drop box locations right NOW!Palmetto Citizens FCU - All LocationsWild Hare - All 3 locationsCupcake - the VistaSoutheastern Salvage - Garners Ferry Rd.That Computer Store - Lake Murray Blvd.The Shoe Boutique - Hope Ferry Plaza, Lexington