DARLINGTON, S.C. — MPD Electric Cooperative delivered checks that totaled $20,000 recently to four organizations across the Pee Dee.
The Community Kitchen of Bennettsville, Sandy Grove Baptist Church—Food Pantry of Bennettsville, Kids Closet of Darlington and Help 4 Kids of Florence were all recipients of these donations.
The contributions were part of the cooperative’s bank, CoBank, and its “Sharing Success” program. CoBank matched contributions of MPD Electric Cooperative to four local charities of its choice.
“You just don’t know what this means to us. We operate solely on donations, no government funding, and these funds go a long way,” said Roger Griggs at the Community Kitchen.
The Community Kitchen serves lunch Monday through Friday to about 180 people and is staffed by volunteers. Cooperative employees also provide food, cook, and serve meals several times each year at the kitchen. Companies or individuals wishing to donate or volunteer can contact Anne Griggs.
Sandy Grove’s Food Pantry packs food bags to put in cars of people who drive through the church parking lot every fourth Saturday — food for about 400 families.
Food pantry services are available to anyone who qualifies and registers.
“The Lord blesses us so we may bless others. That’s what He calls us to do,” said Pastor Gilbert Wilson of Sandy Grove Baptist Church.
Deacon Thomas Johnson, along with Wilson, started the food pantry almost 20 years ago. Donations can be made directly to the church or Harvest Hope Food Bank.
Kids Closet in downtown Darlington provides clothes for needy children of all ages and sizes throughout the community. Its space is made to feel like a real retail store to give kids a sense of normalcy and “go shopping.”
“Somehow, some way, the funds always show up just when they are needed,” Beth Hubbard said.
The organization can also use additional gently used clothing, jackets, shoes, and coat hangers.
“The number of food-insecure children in our area is surprising. You can’t expect children to learn and behave well in school if they’re going on an empty stomach. Our goal is that children get to school each morning rested, fed and ready to learn,” said Diane Welch with Help 4 Kids.
The organization packs food bags that are discreetly sent home before the weekend with children who meet a certain criteria. Although it accepts many types of food items, it particularly needs pop-top Chef Boyardee cans and volunteers to pack the food bags weekly.