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A spirit of giving: Woman hosts inaugural Thanksgiving food drive to honor late father, serve Sumter residents

Shermonta Grant's father Silas was born and raised in Sumter. When he passed away last fall, she knew the best way to honor him would be to serve others.

SUMTER, S.C. — Serving the community to honor her father is the goal for one Washington, D.C. resident.

Shermonta Grant’s father passed away last year. 

As a way to honor him, Grant left her home in Washington D.C. and visited Sumter to give out food in the community her father called home. 

"He was a giver by heart, and he taught us that. He instilled that into me and my siblings," Grant shared. "As a child, we would come down here to visit our family. And I literally can remember the times when my father helped so many people...I remember as a child coming down here with him and he was so proud of his family and his heritage."

She set up a booth in the Piggly Wiggly parking lot and partnered with Sumter School District to residents like Barbara Simon who could use an extra hand buying food.

"It’s going to be a tremendous help because with six grandkids and other family members, it’s just so hard this time of year, so it’s gonna truly be a blessing," Simon explained.

A blessing that comes in three boxes. 

From turkey to cornbread and green beans, Piggly Wiggly Store Manager Larry Baltzegar packed the boxes full of everything needed for a Thanksgiving feast.

"You know, with the way the economy is, inflation is, it’s just a way to give back to the community," Baltzegar told me.

That attitude of giving is spreading in Sumter. 

Egnor Allen was walking by the set up when he decided to lend a hand. He delivered a grocery cart of food to help feed even more residents.

"People did that for me when I was small, so I mean why not? I‘ve been blessed, I’m retired, don’t work," he shared. "When I was small, you know, foster care, people used to take care of us, so I always you know had a hand out to try and help someone else."

Food drive volunteer Nancy Dinkins from Rembert said she hopes this event continues to spread throughout the community.

"I think as the word gets out, then it gets bigger and may be able to help more people," Dinkins said.

Grant tells me she’s happy to keep her father’s spirit alive while impacting families around the holidays.

"It brings me joy, and I think in the times that we live in now, we all have to give back something in some way," Grant said.

Grant tells News 19 that she hopes this is the first of many for years to come.



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