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Orangeburg food pantry braces for increase after schools can't deliver meals

Director Barbara Troy says this week they've been receiving more calls than usual.

ORANGEBURG COUNTY, S.C. — Students in Orangeburg won't be getting school meals while learning virtually. 

As the district goes to e-learning, officials say due to supply chain issues students won't be able to get meals. 

There are over 12,000 students in the district. 

This is where local nonprofits are preparing to step in.

RELATED: Which Midlands schools are going virtual this week

Nonprofits like the Cooperative Church Ministries of Orangeburg.

“It’s amazing feeling but it’s also painful," said director Barbara Troy.

Troy says the church distributes food to people in need year round, but this week they've been receiving more calls than usual.

RELATED: Orangeburg students will not get school meals during virtual learning

“COVID-19 has affected a lot of people’s families in ways no one knows. But I’m glad a lot of people are asking for help," she said.

Troy says thanks to a $25,000 grant the nonprofit received in September, there's plenty of canned goods, meat, and food available at the pantry for pickup."

This was posted on the school district's website:

"Unfortunately, COVID-19-related absences have continued to climb. More than 20% of employees in our school food service department are currently unable to work because they have tested positive for coronavirus, or are quarantined due to a potential exposure.

The continued impact of the pandemic on the food supply chain has resulted in food shortages. Our food supply vendors have done their very best to support our continued operations, but are struggling to keep up with the demand for disposable containers and ready-to-eat foods.

Due to staffing shortages and the inability to access necessary ready-to-eat food items and containers, we regret that to-go meals are not able to be prepared and distributed to students ahead of tomorrow and Friday’s virtual learning and work days."

RELATED: Orangeburg parents adjust for virtual learning

"We’re gonna get through this. It’s just gonna take time. It’s one of those things in life," said Troy.

Cooperative Church Ministries of Orangeburg are open on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. 

People can either request food in person at 2570 St. Matthews Road in Orangeburg or by phone at 803-531-4913.

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