This week, Seaport had the pleasure of volunteering with Second Harvest Food bank to package 232 boxes of food, totaling 4,640 LBS of food, and 3,867 meals!
We are able to sit down with Volunteer Coordinator Bryce Seuntjens at Second Harvest Food Bank. We were familiar with Second Harvest’s work and loved hearing the success they’ve had with their endless philanthropic efforts, but wanted to learn more about how we could help, and contribute to our community during these trying times. Bryce was able to shed some light on how COVID-19 has changed their work, and what they are doing to combat this pandemic.
How does COVID19 change your day to day operations?
“COVID19 has completely changed our day to day operations. We work in partnership with other organizations throughout our area, and some of those agencies have decided to pause their operations because often times seniors are running the program. Because of this, we have been distributing more directly on a daily/weekly basis. We’ve also been heavily restrictive with volunteers. We are used to having around 125 volunteers per week but have only be able to have 15-20 volunteers during the week right now. We are using staff and the National Guard to pack boxes and prepare meals, as we normally rely on volunteers for this. Food donations have been impacted, as we are not currently taking individual food donations. Our fundraising efforts have also been heavily impacted. One of our biggest fundraising events had to be canceled at the beginning of the month, which typically brings in six figures. So our daily operations have been focused on bringing in more monetary donations too, while trying to keep up with the increased demand. Literally every aspect of our daily operations has changed. Face masks and social distancing have become the new norm. We have even strictly separated employees to certain buildings so we’re all not in the same space in case someone gets sick.”
Where does Second Harvest distribute food?
We distribute food throughout 21 Coastal Georgia counties (map attached) – with the help of 300 partner agencies, as well as directly.
Who is eligible to receive food?
We serve children, senior citizens, low-income families, and people with disabilities who are at risk for hunger.
Are you doing anything above and beyond to respond to COVID19 relief? If so, what?
“Yes – we have been doing more food distributions overall. We’ve done food distributions for the recently unemployed, as well as the tourism and hospitality industry. We’ve partnered with police stations throughout our service area to have packed boxes at their buildings. We’ve also been providing ‘grab & go’ meals for children throughout our counties. We typically serve children dinner through our after school Kids Cafe program. However, we are doing breakfast, lunch, and dinner with the ‘grab & go’ meals. ”
How can people help if they want to get involved?
“Since volunteering and individual food donations are restricted right now, the best way to help is with a monetary donation. Because we are able to purchase food in bulk, $1 can provide 5 meals. People can visit our website helpendhunger.org to donate and learn more about our efforts.”
If you would like to donate to Second Harvest local efforts Click Here.