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Area Churches Together Serving receives Great Pantry Makeover grant

November 9, 2018

In a crowded back room in Area Churches Together Serving’s downtown location, several Food Lion store and regional managers gathered together to package food for distribution to those in need.

Tuesday’s activities were part of Food Lion Feed’s charitable event Great Pantry Makeover. ACTS was the recipient of a $1400 grant which helped pay for new shelving units and equipment. Food Lion also donated around 1600 pounds of food donations for the ACTS food pantry, according to a Golden Harvesty Food Bank news release.

“We go into our local food pantries that we partner with, and we do whatever they need for that day,” said Food Lion Store Manager Paul Sholatte, who works at Food Lion’s 1520 Richland Avenue location. ”...I’ve done a number of them before where we did a loading dock, we do freezers or coolers, we did one where we stained and cleaned and painted.”

Sholatte came to ACTS on Park Avenue on his day off to help package donations of food for distribution.

The Great Pantry Makeover was supposed to take place in September, but was delayed due to Hurricane Florence.

ACTS Executive Director Suzanne Jackson said it is partnerships with groups like the Golden Harvest Food Bank and Food Lion that allow food pantries to help those in need.

“People are very generous in their support of us, and this is the perfect example of these partnerships coming together,” Jackson said.

ACTS Operations Manager Karen Perry said hunger is a pressing concern in Aiken.

“We find that most of our seniors survive on less than $700 a month, and most of them are raising grandchildren, so it’s critical that they are able to have this,” said Perry.

“I think one special thing about this was, a couple years ago, Food Lion came up with this idea that we didn’t want our local customers to choose between dinner and rent,” Sholatte said. “So, we’re in the feeding business, but we really want to help everyone be able to have dinner, and not just the ones that can afford it.”

ACTS is in need of volunteers. To learn more about ACTS, visit actsofaikenorg, visit the office at 240 Park Avenue, or call 803-642-5919.

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