As the negative effects of the global recession took hold in Charleston, S.C. in early 2009, local soup kitchens, shelters and the community they served felt the burden. Demand for services rose sharply. And, at the same time, the charitable donations these service organizations survived on dried up.
After learning that one local soup kitchen planned to close one day a week due to the economic crisis, Mickey Bakst, general manager of the Charleston Grill at Charleston Place Hotel, took action. Within a few days, the idea for Charleston Chefs Feed The Need was born.
Charleston’s vibrant and philanthropic-minded culinary community stepped up. Organized by Bakst and Charleston Place Hotel, a coalition of 52 local restaurants with support from the Greater Charleston Restaurant Association, rallied to commit to one day of food service a year at four local nonprofits—Tricounty Family Ministries, East Cooper Meals on Wheels, Crisis Ministries and Neighborhood House.
Fast-forward 365 days, and it’s inspiring to see the difference Feed The Need has made. At a critical moment when demand for services has increased an estimated 25-30%, Feed the Need has made the following possible:
- 22,000 meals served to Charleston’s at-risk population
- $77,000 in food expenses saved by local nonprofits
- 20,000 lbs. of food served
- $110,000 in donated food by participating restaurants
In addition, the program has exposed a new generation to the power each individual has to make a difference. Other Charleston-area nonprofits have seen a spike in volunteers and credit the visibility and impact of Feed The Need.
For more information on Feed The Need or questions on how to get started in your local community, call (843) 577-4522 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org