The United Way of Liberty County, in partnership with America’s Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia, provided more than 16,000 pounds of groceries to 400 households Thursday during a mass mobile food drop. The United Way holds several food drops each year. This week’s food drop was held at Dorchester Academy in Midway.
Civilian and soldier volunteers helped sort, bag and deliver groceries to residents. Jennifer Darsey, director of the United Way of the Coastal Empire’s Liberty office, said each client would receive two bags of food, each containing 20 pounds of groceries.
“We’ve mostly served the elderly and disabled, and some single-parent families here this morning,” Darsey said.
Second Harvest’s website cites some sobering statistics for Coastal Georgia. More than 83,000 children in the area are at risk for hunger and 7.9 percent of households with seniors are food-insecure, according to helpendhunger.org. The number of food insecure seniors is projected to rise by 50 percent over the next 12 years, the website states.
Along with a large team of United Way volunteers, more than a dozen Fort Stewart soldiers lent a hand. Soldiers assigned to the 3rd ID, 2nd Brigade, 130th Infantry Bravo Company and 3-7 Cavalry,
Apache Troop carried bags of food to clients’ vehicles. Darsey’s husband, Restoration Church Pastor Alan Darsey, helped coordinate the mobile food pantry.
“We did this as a joint effort,” Sgt. Mario Renteria with 2nd Brigade said. Spec. Haitham Hassan, also with the 2nd Brigade, said their unit recently helped with a mobile food pantry in Savannah.
Second Harvest initiated the Mobile Food Pantry Program in 2007, according to helpendhunger.org.
“Using sponsorship to fund the program, Second Harvest trucks food into a neighborhood site at a prescheduled time for immediate distribution to residents,” the website states. The mobile food pantry program provides additional food to needy families and allows Second Harvest a way to increase distribution of perishable food items. The mobile-pantry program so far has distributed more than 2 million pounds of food, according to helpendhunger.org.
To volunteer or for more information, call Darsey at 368-4282 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.