Why We Started....
Our Foundation was established in 2019 during the pandemic. In addition to the pandemic, our community found itself the victim of an EF3 tornado which wiped out out much of our downtown area and rendered many without power. Our team jumped into action and provided over 850 “ Grocery Restart Bags” to those who had their power lost and turned back on. Our goal was to provide staple items that were lost during the storm and one week of food.
Time passed and we searched for a place to fit in to no avail. One thing that we were sure of was that we did not want to duplicate services. We waited on a word from the Lord but heard nothing.
Our Directorwent on a year long mission to learn about child feeding and food insecurity. The Lord spoke and what He revealed was heartbreaking. Though great effort is being made in South Carolina to feed the food insecure, the problem not only remains but is increasing. Thousands of children in South Carolina are without food on the weekends and most do not have in school snacks.
In addition, thousands of working South Carolinians cannot afford nutritious food for their families. What we found is that they make too much money to qualify for assistance but too little to sustain themselves. So often a choice has to be made. That choice is to purchase food or pay rent, gas for their cars and even medication. Moreover, many people suffer from autoimmune disorders, diabetes and/or need to be on gluten free or dairy free diets. Gluten free foods are 240% more expensive than standard food and for one who finds themself food insecure the option to purchase the food needed to sustain themselves in difficult to impossible.
Food Cost Has Risen
11.4% in 2022 and expected to rise another 3-4% in 2023. Only 11% of employers in the United States plan on giving cost of living increases in 2023. Working families, the ones “ between the cracks” are struggling in ways that many of us cannot imagine. We have learned of many people, maybe even your neighbor are food insecure. We have also learned that many parents will not ask for help because they are afraid of the consequences of not being able to provide for their children. They are hard working people who just need some help and we are here to provide that.
at In The Gap is to provide a food pantry that is available to those individuals who are between 151%-200% of the poverty guidelines. This group of individuals are working and make too much to receive assistance from pantries that only serve individuals who’s incomes are equal to or lower than 150% of the poverty guidelines. Our pantry houses safe food for those with allergens and food intolerances.
Those with dietary restrictions often encounter grocery bills that are 30% higher than individuals without dietary restrictions. Additionally, we deliver in school snacks to students who cannot otherwise afford them. By doing this, we are relieving many teachers and socials workers from providing these snack from their own resources. Bridging the Gap Food Pantry is open year round and will get collaborate with local food pantries, The United Way, Ripple of One as well as schools and churches within the county. The in school school snacks will be provided for forty (40) weeks per year.