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SLOAN COLUMN: column offering food for thought

on Tuesday, 17 March 2020. Posted in Columns, Opinions


That’s the number of pounds of food distributed by Harvest Hope Food Bank of the Pee Dee in 2018.

More than 220,000 families and 145 organizations benefited from the food banks offerings. Harvest Hope serves eight counties - Chesterfield, Clarendon, Darlington, Dillon, Florence, Lee, Marlboro and Marion.

As impressive as the numbers are, it probably still doesn’t measure the full impact the food bank has on this region. Without the food banks’ presence, hundreds of thousands of people of all ages, races and ethnicities would be going to bed hungry.

Harvest Hope doesn’t deal directly with families, but with partnering agencies that serve individuals and families within their communities. Food banks at local churches and soup kitchens are examples of partnering agencies.

Harvest Hope is always in need of volunteers to help sort through food donations when they arrive and to pack boxes for distribution.

Individual volunteers and groups are needed from 10 a.m. to noon and 1 to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday at the food banks distribution center located adjacent to the Pee Dee Farmer’s Market on West Lucas Street.

To volunteer, sign up online at, or call Volunteer Coordinator Lenora Lefew at (843) 661-0826, ext. 2102.

• The Youth Mentors of the Pee Dee is looking for cooks/sponsors for its annual BBQ Cook-off Festival. The event, which serves as the organization’s primary fundraiser, will take April 10-11 in Florence.

The number of teams/ cooks is limited to the first 25 to sign up. The registration cost is $200.

Cash prizes are awarded for first through fifth places. The first place prizes is $1,500.

Youth Mentors of the Pee Dee, formerly known as Big Brothers, Big Sisters, offers mentoring to children from single parent and broken homes in Florence, Darlington and Marion counties.

• The Taste of Darlington is inviting businesses, civic groups, and other organizations to participate in the city’s biggest social event of the year.

The 2020 Taste is planned for Thursday, April 23 in the garage area at Darlington Raceway. Tickets are $30 in advance, $35 the day of the event.

The event is a fundraiser for the Darlington Downtown Revitalization Association. Proceeds will go toward a variety of community projects.

Table hosts will decorate provided round tables to fit their business or theme. Each table will be responsible for providing eight dishes and cooks should expect to serve 150-200 bite-size pieces of each dish.

For more information, contact DDRA Executive Director Lisa Chalian-Rock at (843) 398-4000 x 103.

Contact Editor Bob Sloan at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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