Rowe said the Harvest Hope food bank was established in 1981 as a result of a shared vision of business leaders and the faith community, who set out to provide for the hungry in Colombia.
Harvest Hope is now providing food to those in need in 20 counties across Midlands, Pee Dee and Upstate.
Harvest Hope partners with over 388 agencies in the 20 countries it serves. In the Pee Dee, Rowe said he partners with about 150 agencies.
Rowe said the organization’s mission is to “transform lives in the communities we serve, feeding the hungry, fighting food insecurity and building a healthy and hopeful future without hunger.”
Harvest Hope partners with at-risk schools, homeless shelters, soup kitchens and churches. It serves children, families, military, veterans and seniors, food insecure people.
Harvest Hope provides pantry boxes for diabetics, heart-healthy food boxes, healthy food boxes for seniors, a backpacking program for school-aged children, education and on-site nutritional training.
Rowe said all Pee Dee counties are at or above the state average for food insecurity. She said Dillon County is most affected by food insecurity.
Rowe said the first donation to the Pee Dee branch of Harvest Hope was made in 1997 by the Dr.’s Bruce and Lee Foundation. In 1988, the Pee Dee branch moved to the current Pee Dee State Farmers’ Market facility and now partners with over 150 agencies in nine counties.