UCM fights hunger

COUNTY — With a hit movie and book trilogy, The Hunger Games has taken pop culture by storm in recent months, but the title has taken on a new meaning in Pickens County this April.
Suzanne Burns, who is currently serving her second year on the United Christian Ministries Board, is working diligently to combat hunger throughout the Pickens community.
As the summer months approach, food donations have a tendency to slow down. Unfortunately, hunger does not. This is the second year Burns has held an April food drive to help United Christian Ministries stock up their pantry and earn money for the agency along the way by participating in the Feinstein Foundation’s 15th annual $1 Million Giveaway to Fight Hunger.
Alan Shawn Feinstein, creator of the Feinstein Foundation, will divide $1 million among hunger-fighting agencies nationwide using those funds to help them raise money to fight hunger this March and April.
The way the Feinstein Foundation Giveaway works is simple: nationwide agencies — like UCM — working to fight hunger receive Feinstein Foundation challenge money based on the food donations they are able to collect.
In other words, the more food Burns can collect for UCM, the more money UCM will be awarded to purchase more food and goods for those in need throughout Pickens County.
With a college background in both journalism and education, Feinstein taught in the public school system in both Massachusetts and Rhode Island. He later entered the business world, starting a financial advisory newspaper column and private newsletter in 1974. His newsletters went on to become among the most widely circulated in the world, reaching a readership of more than 500,000.
Since 1996, Feinstein has dedicated all of his time to philanthropic endeavors, focusing on the advancement of public service and the alleviation of hunger.
He founded the World Hunger Program at Brown University, the first university center to study and try to end the causes of hunger; launched the World Hunger Brigade, a program which encourages middle school students to study hunger and design programs to fight it; the Feinstein International Famine Center at Tufts University, which carries out projects designed to help reduce hunger in countries around the world; and the Center for a Hunger Free America at the University of Rhode Island.
Over the last 15 years, the annual event has raised more than $1.25 billion for more than 2,000 agencies and houses of worship nationwide helping the needy.
Burns, with support of other UCM board members, is hoping to earn a sizeable donation for all the children and families throughout Pickens County who struggle with hunger.
“Even if we only manage to win $100,” said Burns. “That’s at least money that we didn’t have before.”
Burns, who works at Cornerstone Bank in Easley, was only able to get a couple of banks to participate in the Feinstein Foundation’s $1 Million Giveaway to Fight Hunger last year. This year, Burns is pleased to have five banks join in the challenge.
Until the last day of April, Cornerstone Bank, in addition to Certus and Palmetto Banks in Easley and First Citizens Bank locations in Liberty and Powdersville, will be collecting food donations for the United Christian Ministries’ food pantry.
The $1 million will be divided proportionately among all agencies competing in the Feinstein Foundation’s $1 Million Giveaway to Fight Hunger. United Christian Ministries can earn a maximum of $35,000, but that all depends on the amount of food donations Burns is able to collect.
Anyone interested in helping United Christian Ministries build up their food supply for the hungry and win additional monies to help their organization serve those in need throughout Pickens County, please bring your food donations to any of the five bank branches listed above.
For more information on the Feinstein Foundation, visit their website at