Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- The summer months are taking a toll on services at the Harvest Hope Food Bank.
The organization has seen an increase in the number of families in need, which has led to empty shelves and fewer food items on hand to help.
"When food comes into us it turns right around and it goes right back out," said Skot Garrick, Harvest Hope Communications Manager.
Employees and volunteers at Harvest Hope work to feed about 350 families each day. This year, the numbers they have seen are higher than normal by about 100, and it has put a strain on supplies.
"We do try to plan ahead, we do try to project what our food needs are gonna be, but so that we will not be caught short handed , but sometimes the demand is just so critical that we do run low, like we're doing right now," said Garrick.
He says they worked with 800 more families this June than they did the previous year, and right now, they're low on foods that help them provide well rounded meals for those in need.
Garrick says some of the coolers that help them offer those nutritious meals are practically bare.
"Unfortunately, we had a deficit of protein rich product right now, we're not able to provide any meat product," said Garrick.
They are also running low on other items they typically supply to hungry families, with lots of empty spaces on shelves in their warehouse.
"We're getting donations coming in, at the regular levels we have a lot of great community partners and grocery stores and local farmers providing food to us, but it's just going out so quickly," said Garrick.
That's why any donations of money or non-perishable food items especially those with protein like canned meats, will go a long way.
"If you haven't had the chance to donate to Harvest Hope yet, think about what your donations are gonna mean for people who are hungry right now and who are struggling right now," said Garrick.
Today News19 will team up with Harvest Hope to help refill their shelves. We'll be out at the Piggly Wiggly at 3818 Devine Street from 6 a.m. until 7:30 p.m.
In addtion to the Devine Street location, people can donate at any one of the following Piggly Wigglys:
2000 Clemson Road
7451 Garners Ferry Road
3040 Charleston Highway
1123 South Lake Drive
760 Highway 378
We'll also have a phone bank Thursday evening for you to make donations as well.
People are encouraged to donate non-perishable food goods. The food bank especially needs protein-peanut butter, canned meats, etc.