Food pantry at Renew Our Community in ‘feast or famine’ cycle

rsouthmayd@heraldonline.comJune 7, 2014 

  • Food needs

    Beans

    Bottled drinks

    Canned goods

    Canned meat

    Instant grits

    Macaroni and cheese

    Nonperishable foods

    Pasta

    Pasta sauce

    Peanut butter

    Pop Tarts

    Potato chips

    Ramen noodles

    Single serve snacks

    Soup

    Kitchen items

    Disposable forks

    Food service gloves

    Glass cleaner

    Kitchen trash bags

    Large coffee filters

    Paper towels

    Plastic wrap

    Napkins

  • More information

    How to help

    Contact ROC community relations specialist Jenny Overman at 803-804-8737 to implement any of these ideas or suggest others.

    • Set up a box for donations at your church or office and encourage people to bring in donations monthly or quarterly.

    • Become a drop-off spot for your neighborhood and place a box on your porch for donations.

    • Businesses can “adopt” Renew Our Community for a month and place a box in the office for donations.

    • Community or civic groups can encourage members to bring donations to meetings.

Every few weeks, the staff and volunteers at Renew Our Community snap pictures of nearly bare shelves and bins in the food pantry at the organization’s “Central” location on East White Street in Rock Hill.

Pictures are posted to social media, pleading for donations. Some come in, the shelves fill up. Days later, the cycle begins again.

Now, ROC wants to stop the “feast and famine” cycle, said community relations specialist Jenny Overman, and is asking the community to donate and to help the organization find ways to keep its food shelves full for clients.

ROC bills itself as a place where “people in need, crisis, or social emergency can find direction and are treated with dignity and respect.”

The organization provides services from job training to counseling. Clients are served snacks during the day, while the emergency food pantry helps people in crisis – like those who have run out of food stamps or just escaped an abusive home and haven’t gotten a spot in a shelter yet.

Unfortunately, those emergencies show up at ROC Central 10 to 15 times every day, Overman said.

If people were to just add ROC to their weekly grocery list and give a little whenever they can, ROC could keep a fully stocked pantry at all times, Overman said. Community and civic groups also could work to assist ROC, alleviating what’s become a major concern for the organization.

Organizers don’t want to have to turn someone away, but if donations don’t pick up, they may not have a choice.

“The best way to help is with small, regular donations from a lot of people,” Overman said.

ROC is encouraging community members to donate and to think of new ways to encourage others to do the same.

Rachel Southmayd •  803-329-4072

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