Boxes were placed at various businesses in the county as well as at grocery stores and the Veterans Hospital in Columbia for people to drop off non-perishable food items to benefit the Good Samaritan House.
Stephen Burgess, director of social services with Fairfield Memorial Hospital, said that although he and Lauren Darnell, a social worker with Fairfield Middle School, directed the project, it was his two social work interns, Ashley Cameron from the University of South Carolina and Michael Morris from Limestone College, who contacted the participating businesses and organized the drive.
“We thought it was an appropriate month to get involved in the community and get them, as students, involved in the community,” said Burgess, adding that it was Darnell who approached him about co-sponsoring the drive.
“It was good for them and it was good for the community as a whole, too,” he said.
On Monday afternoon, Burgess, Cameron and Morris delivered several boxes of food to the food pantry. All of the items were gone within minutes of their arrival, Burgess said.
Burgess said he plans to continue sponsoring the food drive each year for now on.
“We will definitely do it for at least social work appreciation month because, again, it’s in March when people don’t typically think about the food bank,” Burgess said. “Most people think of the food bank around Christmas and Thanksgiving, so I think it’s a good time of the year to do that. And again, it’s good for both sides – it helps the students and it’s good for the community.”