At the Lowcountry Food Bank, the work is never ending. The fight against hunger is a year-round challenge.
According to volunteer manager Andrew Peiffer, community volunteers are crucial in keeping up that fight.
This week was no different, except for how the food bank benefited from the help of more than 100 volunteers in one day.
On Friday, the Trident United Way supported dozens of organizations like the Lowcountry Food Bank through its annual "Day of Caring.”
“Today happens to be a very big volunteer day,” Peiffer said. “It means that we are able to sort and pack more food.”
The day-long event involves a partnership between Trident United Way and more than 5,000 volunteers representing almost 300 companies and non-profit organizations. During the 18th year of hosting the event, the Trident United Way and its partners orchestrated 278 projects across Charleston, Dorchester and Berkeley counties.
At the Lowcountry Food Bank, volunteers helped with the school pantry program and dispensed fresh apples to needy families.
“I think it’s important obviously to give back to the communities we live in,” said Erin Moseley, an employee at Cummins Turbo Technologies, who volunteered at the food bank.
Other groups volunteering at the food bank on Friday included Johnson & Johnson Insurance and Trident Technical College.
“For me, I am an advocate for giving back,” said Nigel Mattison, an employee of Johnson & Johnson. “Just the idea of being a blessing to anyone in need, it gives me joy.”
According to Peiffer, the food bank ships out about 1,200 food supply packages each month for students. Thanks to the Day of Caring volunteers, they will be able to pack all 1,200 of the packages in a day. They were also able to ship out an estimated 2,200 pounds of apples.
"It really does illustrate the capacity for change we can all have working together," said Chris Kerrigan, CEO of Trident United Way.
The work, of course, wasn't limited to the Lowcountry Food Bank. At least 10 schools, including Hanahan Elementary school, Sangaree Middle School and Sand Hill Elementary, either had volunteers come by for the day to help or supplied student volunteers to a project.
At Sangaree Middle School, employees of Santee Cooper helped beautify the 6th grade courtyard.
“We’ve got a lot of kids that need help,” said Shawn McCombs, assistant principal at Sangaree Middle School. “We can always find something for people to do if they’re willing and able.”
For most volunteers, getting involved was simple and self-fulfilling. Mark Dickson, the vice president of mission for the Roper St. Francis, went with his chaplains to support the ARK of South Carolina, an Alzheimer's support organization, as the group renovated a home they recently acquired.
Dickson said he's always lived by the phrase "in giving we receive."
“We like to think everyday is a day of caring," he said.