By Nicole Collins, Co-Editor/Writer
Helping Hands Ministries of Woodruff is a local food pantry that serves an average of 100 families weekly in the Woodruff, Enoree and Cross Anchor areas.
In addition to the food pantry, Helping Hands also has a clothes closet (that stores clothes, household items, toys, linens, etc.) and provides financial assistance with utility bills, rent and life-sustaining prescription medications.
Helping Hands typically provides table food (perishable items donated from the Woodruff Bi-Lo and Food Lion daily) and food boxes which include table food in addition to canned vegetables, fruits and meats, pasta, rice, dry beans, breakfast items, juice, frozen meats and paper products when available.
However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, director Sandi Turner says that they have had to make adjustments to the food box program. “We are giving out ‘Care Packages’ instead of food boxes. These include table food and 2-3 frozen meats, cheese, drinks, juice and eggs, milk and other items when available. This lessens the time a guest spends in our office and the time our volunteers spend loading items in the guest car. Guests may pick up a care package every two weeks.”
Additional adjustments to normal operations include limiting the numbers of guests in the lobby to one at a time and handling all financial assistance over the phone. Turner says they have hand sanitizer, gloves and masks available for volunteers and are spraying everything with Lysol and wiping surfaces with Clorox wipes multiple times a day and constantly washing their hands!
Turner says they are very low on canned good. The organization is in need of these items: canned corn and other vegetables, canned meats, canned soups, canned fruits, pasta, oil, mayo, grits, mac & cheese, peanut butter, breakfast items, soap, deodorant, toilet paper and paper towels.
In additional to the food items mentioned, Helping Hands also accepts household items, blankets, shoes, toys, school supplies and monetary donations.
Turner became the director in September 2013. Her role includes overseeing all the programs as well as writing grants, planning fundraisers and events, coordinating volunteers, and speaking to civic groups and churches.
COVID-19 has not only impacted the food pantry’s food supply but has also forced Helping Hands to defer a couple of fundraising events. The nonprofit’s third annual car show, originally scheduled for March 21, was postponed until July 18. Its May Sporting Clays Tournament has been pushed to October 2. The annual golf tournament is still on schedule for September.
Helping Hands Ministries of Woodruff
206 Chamblin St., Woodruff
For those who need help or would like to donate, follow these times:
- For food assistance: Monday – Friday, 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
- For donation drop offs: Tuesday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
- For financial assistance via phone: Wednesday – Friday, 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
- For clothes closet assistance: Monday 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.