Harvest of Hope update
Published 10:17 am Monday, October 25, 2021
Harvest of Hope Food Pantry is in full operation as your mission as we seek to meet the needs of people in Sumter County. If you have been to the grocery store lately you have probably realized that grocery prices seem to be going higher and higher, especially meat. Food prices are set by the company, not by the store. Along with food prices, there are shortages of many things. I do not know why except that it seems that, like many local businesses, there seems to be a shortage of individuals to work. We, at Harvest of Hope, are blessed right now that we are not facing a shortage of food, even though Second Harvest of South Georgia has a very limited inventory at this time. They have, basically, the same items on their inventory that they have had for months. Their inventory includes PPP items which has to do with purchase power where one can purchase some items at something around wholesale. (I think PPP may be a term for purchase power price.)
We have faced this kind of shortage since COVID began. We have survived and are still surviving with a combination of Second Harvest inventory, some PPP purchases, and our inventory.
We first opened Harvest of Hope Food Pantry in June 2013. At that time, we did not know anything about ordering food. Our food came from the Second Harvest warehouse in Albany. Our first driver who delivered food to us was a full-blooded American Indian. He was the nicest driver we ever had. He worked because he wanted to work, not because he had to work. We never knew his name. He told us to call him J.T. We opened in June 2013 and did not know anything about ordering food. One day in October, I think, he said (we must have looked like we did not know what we were doing), “I want to tell you something. If you look at the inventory and see something you want, you had better order it immediately because things that are good disappear quickly and they many not have it again. Get it because you may not need it this month, but you may need it next month. J.T.’s advice has proved to be a blessing because Second Harvest’s inventory is often lacking in things like corn, green beans, and peas. At times Second Harvest has gone most of a year without these items. In fact, the only peas, green beans, and corn they have had during all the COVID time were PPP items. Because we were prepared, we have still been able to serve our clients. We haven’t gotten our client base back yet, but we are still lacking volunteer workers as well. If you know anyone in Sumter County who needs food, please send them our way. If you would like to work, show up on Monday morning. We begin packing for distribution at 8:00 a.m. On Tuesdays we are at the food pantry at 8:00 and we begin distributing food at 8:30. We close at 11:00 a.m.
I don’t want to give you the impression that it has always been easy, especially during this period of COVID which seems to have no end. If you have not had your COVID vaccine shots, I encourage you to take advantage of your opportunity to protect yourself. If you doubt that COVID is as bad as they say, talk to someone who has had COVID. Protect yourself. Do not count on others to protect you.
I want to thank each of you who have faithfully supported us during this long period of COVID. It is YOU who have enabled us to continue to operate and give out food each month. I also want to thank each of you who have continued to make regular monetary donations, made an occasional monetary donation, or even a single donation. Every donation, no matter how large or small or anywhere in between, enables us to continue to provide for the people of Sumter County. Remember, also, that we are happy to receive your memorial donations. We acknowledge these gifts with a letter to the family of the person remembered and to the person who made the donation.
During the pandemic, we have lost support from at least one church and possibly several individuals, who for their own reason decided to stop their support. Why they stopped is their own decision. We celebrate those who remember that the hungry in Sumter County still need help. Thank you for your help.
During the pandemic, donations of canned goods has also dropped, from thousands of items to only a few. We thank those who have remembered the food pantry with food items.
Remember that this is a ministry of the people of Sumter County to the people of Sumter County. None of our resources go outside of Sumter County.
Please pray for us as we need the strength that we receive through your prayers. We appreciate each of you. Pray that this COVID pandemic will come to an end. Pray for those families who have lost loved ones.
If you feel comfortable, come by and volunteer, or visit us, and say “hello,”
We pray for each of you.
You can contact us at:
Harvest of Hope Food Pantry
- O. Box 6111
Americus, GA 31709-6111
God bless each of you.