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Library, Rotary host food drives to benefit community food banks

Posted: November 22, 2013 5:17 p.m.
Updated: November 25, 2013 5:00 a.m.

The food items collected from the Kershaw County Library’s Food for Fines drive.

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The Kershaw County Library ran a Food for Fines drive earlier this fall. Patrons with fines were offered the opportunity to reduce the amount they owed by donating nonperishable food items at $1 towards fines per item. The donated food items were given to Christian Community Ministries (CCM) and also to Community of Hope Food Bank in Elgin and Bethune First Baptist Church to help stock their food pantries.

CCM, an organization that has been active in the community for close to 25 years, is supported by more than 30 community churches and also has a volunteer base of approximately 50 individuals, according to CCM Director Connie Sheorn. The organization offers such help as assistance with housing, utilities, medical bills, prescriptions and food, Sheorn explained.

Amy Schofield, director of the Kershaw County Library, stated that "when Patty Roberts, a volunteer at Christian Community Ministries, picked up the food (from the food drive), she mentioned that the food bank was in desperate need of jelly."

Roberts explained that the food bank at CCM receives a good supply of peanut butter from a drive held at the Applied Technology Education Campus (ATEC). CCM also receives regular contributions of bread through a relationship with Pepperidge Farm, according to information Schofield received from Roberts.

"To balance this out," Schofield said, "the Camden and West Wateree Rotary clubs did a jelly drive and collected around 50 jars of jelly." Schofield is also president of the West Wateree Rotary club.

Camden Rotary President--elect Kevin Rhodes spoke on behalf of the club’s involvement in the jelly drive to benefit CCM. "It goes without saying that families with young children looking for assistance from CCM often find the peanut butter and jelly combination useful," Rhodes said. "(Camden and West Wateree Rotary clubs) collected a large amount of jelly, several large boxes in fact, and were delighted with the results."

Rhodes also described the active role both Rotary clubs take in helping others in the community, stating that "Rotary’s mission is ‘Service Above Self,’ so as Rotarians, we’re always on the lookout for opportunities such as this to fill unmet needs in our community."

Sheorn said that CCM is "very blessed to be the recipients of innumerable food drives throughout the year," and in regards to Rotary’s jelly drive, she said her team is "most appreciative of the jars of jelly, as it is a fitting companion for the peanut butter sandwich!"

Rhodes encourages anyone else who wishes to give back to the community to contact the various food banks in the county to find out what kind of goods and services are needed there. "The Kershaw County school district routinely collects non-perishable food items during the holiday season," Rhodes said.

Rhodes added that the United Way of Kershaw County is a consistent source of information for individuals wanting to find out how to give back. "Simply call 432-0951 or just drop by their office at 110 East DeKalb St., in Camden," he said.


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