To get a card

Grocery cards will be given away 7:30 a.m. Dec. 2 at Star Gospel Mission, 474 Meeting St. Recipients must be at least 30 years old, and must present a valid ID and Social Security card.

Star Gospel Mission will give away $50 grocery cards Dec. 2, offering local families a helping hand to purchase food this holiday season.

The annual event attracts hundreds of people as area residents line up, some opting to camp overnight, to receive one of the cards at 474 Meeting St. The cards can’t be used to purchase alcohol, tobacco or lottery products.

“This really gives people an additional boost in terms of what they are able to purchase for the holiday season,” mission Executive Director William K. Christian said. “Hopefully, even though Thanksgiving will have passed, this will help them procure additional food items that will be essential for their Christmas dinners and festive family gatherings.”

The initiative is funded by The Post and Courier’s Good Cheer Fund in conjunction with Star Gospel Mission.

In years past, the gift cards were good at any Piggly Wiggly store. This year, card recipients will do their shopping at Bi-Lo.

The change of grocer was largely due to Bi-Lo’s recent purchase of Piggly Wiggly’s Meeting Street store, Christian said.

“Piggly Wiggly was such an outstanding institution in our community. I would call it a comfort zone. It’s the central hub for (Charleston’s East Side) neighborhood and community,” Christian said. “The Meeting Street store really hasn’t changed much. The beauty of it all is that most of the personnel is the same. We’ve had a phenomenal working relationship with them over the years and that’s not going to change.”

Reach Christina Elmore at 937-5908 or at Twitter.com/celmorePC.