Coastal Electric members help alleviate rural hunger

If you’re one of the 15,126 Coastal Electric Cooperative members who participate in Operation Round Up, did you know you’re helping feed people in our community who might otherwise go hungry?

That’s right! Members who participate in the Operation Round Up program allow Coastal Electric to round up their electric bill each month to the next whole dollar. Those nickels and dimes are pooled together and invested back into the local community through the Coastal Electric Cooperative Foundation.

Second Harvest's refrigerated truck delivers fresh food to the hungryA few cents every month may not seem like much, but that small change makes a huge difference.

Case in point: In January, the Coastal Electric Cooperative Foundation awarded a $20,000 grant to America’s Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia to help fund their Mobile Pantry Program.

Second Harvest uses a refrigerated vehicle to deliver food directly to neighborhood distribution sites in Bryan, Liberty, Long, and McIntosh counties. The key advantage of mobile pantries is that they not only get the food to people who need it, but mobile pantries also allow for more fresh foods like fruits, vegetables, dairy, meats and other protein items to be distributed, in addition to nonperishables.

According to Second Harvest, in the four counties Coastal Electric serves, 15,730 individuals face hunger—including 5,480 children.

“With free groceries, our rural neighbors are able to stretch their finances to pay for housing, medicine, and utilities,” says Mary Jane Crouch, Executive Director at America’s Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia. “They are also able to stretch their minds to do well in school and at work.”

With the foundation’s support, Second Harvest plans to provide a mobile food pantry three to 12 times each year in the four counties Coastal Electric serves. The organization will distribute about 20,000 pounds of food at each distribution to an average of 300 households each time.

The Coastal Electric Cooperative Foundation’s mission is to assist with the food, health, safety, education, and shelter needs of citizens in counties served by Coastal Electric. Thanks to generous Coastal Electric members and America’s Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia, those needs are being met, one person at a time.