Fresh Start Ministry aids in providing food security in the midst of COVID-19
St. Luke’s, Columbia’s Fresh Start Ministry is doing its part in providing food security to its clients during the COVID-19 pandemic. Currently, Fresh Start is the only operational food pantry in the Columbia area and one of ten operating in South Carolina.
While wearing masks and gloves and adhering to social distancing guidelines, the Fresh Start Ministry provides three bags of groceries to each of their clients. Last week, ministry leaders like the Rev. Dianna Deaderick were ecstatic to be able to provide their clients with a wonderful surprise.
“We were fortunate that Harvest Hope had some extra USDA food product, which we aren’t normally eligible to receive. But because they had extra, and it was only disseminated between ten agencies, we were able to get fresh apples and oranges. That was a real treat for them!”
At the very onset of coronavirus, Harvest Hope decided to close its doors, making difficult for the ministry to find enough things to give to their clients. Fresh Start leaders, however, sprung into action and took full advantage of their partnership with Lowes Food on Forest Drive. The store offers bread and sweets to the Fresh Start Ministry at a reduced price. Every Wednesday, Lowes employees help load the back of Fresh Start’s trailer with non-perishables for them to distribute.
Fresh Start’s board president, Anne Hayslip was diagnosed with COVID-19, and has since made a full recovery.
“We are very, very fortunate that she has made a complete recovery is back to help us. I couldn’t do Fresh Start without Anne. She’s just a tremendous asset and I was devastated when I found out that she tested positive. We’re rejoicing that she is fine and rejoicing that Harvest Hope has chosen us as one of the ten agencies that they are going to provide food for during this time,” said the Rev. Dianna.
In the midst of COVID-19, Fresh Start serves approximately half of their usual clientele every Thursday at 10 a.m. and does not currently provide laundry/shower services or medical testing. For more information on Harvest Hope in the midst of COVID-19, please visit their website.
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