United Christian Ministries bank food drive proves to be successful

UPSTATE — Throughout the spring, United Christian Ministries board member Suzanne Burns conducted a food drive for the agency as part of the Feinstein Foundation Challenge.
As the Courier previously reported, the non-profit Feinsten Organization divides up $1 million among hunger-fighting agencies, and the money each agency receives is directly contingent upon the amount of food items or donations they are able to collect.
Burns was able to get five local banks to participate in the Bank-to-Bank Food Challenge this spring. Those banks included Cornerstone National Bank, Palmetto Bank, First Citizens in Liberty, First Citizens in Powdersville and Certus Bank.
Each of these financial institutions competed to collect the largest amounts of food and cash donations for the food pantry at United Christian Ministries, an agency that helps to combat hunger in Pickens County.
The winning bank in the competition was First Citizens of Powdersville, which collected 429 food items. The total number of items collected among the five banks totaled 728.
“It was very exciting to have five banks participating this year,” Burns said. “Hopefully this number will grow every year, and we will have more and more banks participating.”
Based on the bank collections, the Feinstein Challenge awarded United Christian Ministries cash and check donations totaling approximately $6,700 and approximately 12,500 items of food donations.
Burns extended a special thank you to all the participating banks, as well as their employees and families who participated in the challenge.
Burns also said UCM is thankful for the kindness of those in the area and the outpouring of concern for the less fortunate in the community.
“The kindness and selflessness that shone through these donations is appreciated by all that are affected, be it those that receive or those that are involved in United Christian Ministries,” Burns said.
With the start of school just around the corner, UCM has embarked on a new project that involves collecting school supplies for those children in need throughout Pickens County.
Beginning immediately, donations including bookbags, notebook paper, one- and two-inch binders, calculators, composition books, pens, pencils, pencil pouches, glue sticks, highlighters, colored pencils, rulers and pocket folders can all be brought to United Christian Ministries.
UCM is also collecting box fans to help people in the community endure the summer heat, and they can always use donations of canned meats, such as tuna, ham and chicken, and dry goods such as rice, beans, cereals and pasta.