COLUMBIA, S.C. — AARP and FoodShare teamed Wednesday up to give the residents of Allen Benedict Court a box filled with food — a sigh of relief for many who struggle to feed their families.

Over 400 residents were displaced in January after multiple gas leaks and carbon monoxide were detected in their homes. 

"We don't want to see anyone at any age go hungry," AARP Chapter President Carolyn Thompson said. 

Along with AARP and FoodShare, 30 volunteers filled more than 200 boxes of food for the residents. This comes more than two months after 411 residents were evacuated from their homes.

"I don't have to worry about what me and my son are going to eat," former Allen Benedict resident Troy Herbert said. "Now I'll have something to fix for him to eat or if I can get someone to take me to the store to get something to eat for me this is very helpful."

Two months ago, Herbert and her 14-year-old son packed up everything to relocate to an area hotel.

"There is no other word you can use but stress," Herbert said.

Funds have been slim for many of the residents, and those funds are desperately needed to buy food.

"You don't know and when you have limited means of funds to buy stuff you know it was just too stressful," Herbert said. "Everything was just stressful."

On Wednesday, volunteers lifted that burden. Herbert took home a box filled with fruit, chicken, rice and veggies free of charge. Now, instead of worrying about where their next meal will come from it will instead be waiting at home.

"You never know what's going to happen with all this going on because we didn't know that was going to happen," Herbert said. "It's like everyday you got to fight, you got to fight your way through things. So for this to happen we really looking at things to see what's next going to happen, yeah we worried."


In our investigation, we've uncovered previous maintenance problems in the units at Allen Benedict Court, that showed there were concerns about the units well before January 17th. We have a mountain of documents related to the case, as well as interviews with residents, and we continue to present new information each day.

You can see more into our probe below: 

RELATED: Four years of Allen Benedict Court inspection reports released

RELATED: DEEP DIVE: Work orders highlight potentially life-threatening problems at Allen Benedict Court

RELATED: Deep Dive: Work orders for deceased resident's apartment

RELATED: History of issues at Allen Benedict Court Apartments

RELATED: Allen Benedict Court records show possible lack in maintenance

RELATED: Incident report reveals possible source of CO in Allen Benedict Court deaths

RELATED: 'Maybe they care, maybe they don't' Columbia Housing resident speaks out about maintenance issues

RELATED: EMS radio recordings describe moments after man was found in his apartment at Allen Benedict Court

RELATED: Fire Department: At least 7 calls for 'suspicious odors' in 2018 at Allen Benedict Court

RELATED: Allen Benedict Court work orders show history of maintenance issues at deceased resident's apartment

RELATED: 'It takes a toll': Allen Benedict mother, daughter adapting to new normal

RELATED: 'I was in the belly of Hell': ex-Allen Benedict Court resident describes living there

RELATED: Previous work orders show gas leak issues at Allen Benedict Court


There have also been multiple lawsuits filed in connection to the case. You can see our coverage of those below.

RELATED: First lawsuit filed against Columbia Housing Authority director, commission chair

RELATED: Lawsuit alleges Allen Benedict Court Resident suffered from 'gas poisoning' well before evacuations

RELATED: Two new lawsuits filed over death, injury at Allen Benedict Court apartments

RELATED: 'Grossly negligent': 1st lawsuit filed over conditions at Allen Benedict Court Apartments