Loaves & Fishes is “Going Online to Feed the Hungry!” They have moved their annual fundraiser Taste of the Upstate to an online auction due to COVID-19. The need for their invaluable food rescuing service is higher than ever right now. Please consider bidding on their always-excellent packages, and support their mission of transporting surplus and unused food to local food banks in desperate need of supplies!

From their Press Release:

Loaves & Fishes is taking its annual fundraiser to its quarantined supporters. Due to COVID-19 concerns, Loaves & Fishes has decided to cancel the 25th Anniversary Taste of the Upstate event scheduled for April 5th, 2020. This decision was made after a thorough review of state and federal recommendations along with discussions with our restaurant partners.

Loaves & Fishes will host a live, online auction beginning Sunday April 5th at 11:30 AM. Details about the auction will soon be available on their website and Facebook pages.

Before the COVID-19 virus began to spread, there were an estimated 63,000 food secure people in the Upstate, a number that climbs higher with each passing day. Counterintuitively, 27% of grocery stores and food distribution centers’ unspoiled, surplus food supply goes to waste, resulting in 133 billion pounds of good food being trashed each year.

Safely transporting food is costly. So-much-so that it prohibits unspoiled, surplus food from being donated to food pantries directly. Loaves & Fishes (L&F) eliminates the costly, logistical challenge of transporting food safely from place to place with their fleet of refrigerated trucks and trained drivers.

L&F’s two full-time and 4 part-time staffers facilitate this transfer with the help of generous volunteers and donors and proceeds from the annual Taste of the Upstate event. Due to the COVID-19 virus, and a sharp rise in need for services, the event’s typical silent auction will instead take place online starting at 11:30am Sunday, April 5th.

The COVID-19 virus has caused a surge in the number of those needing emergency food services as more South Carolinians are unable to work. As businesses and schools shutter, many families must suddenly grapple with this new reality and emergency social service providers face never-before-seen demand. The 101 food pantries and agencies that Loaves & Fishes serves are asking for more food. While South Carolina can now boast 479 grocery stores, thanks to multiple large chains moving into SC in the past year, donations from grocers have diminished significantly due to grocery stores shelves being emptied by panicked consumers.

The 2020 Taste of the Upstate is generously supported by Bell Carrington Price & Gregg, Primsa Health, Greenville Heritage Federal Credit Union, Piedmont Natural Gas, Pinnacle Financial Partner, Bon Secours Wellness Arena, United Community Bank, Dixon Hughes Goodman LLP, Quality Business Solutions, Amamco Tool, Metromont Corporation, NAI Earle Furman, Cascades Verdae, Gordon Food Services, Benefitfocus, The Buying Source, Green Cloud Technologies, Bon Secours Health System, the Bank of Travelers Rest, Open Art Studio, and media sponsors WSPA, HOT 98.1 and 107.3 JAMZ.

WAYS TO HELP

As a 501(c)3, L&F appreciates your cash gifts and donations as they allow for the flexibility to meet needs quickly and keep the L&F trucks on the road. Visit https://bit.ly/39YX4ws on your smartphone or computer to make your gift today. Every dollar makes a difference.

Do you have non-perishable food items to donate? Call 864-232-3595 to arrange a drop-off time.

Quarantined at home? Amazon shoppers can benefit L&F in two ways: proceeds from all Amazon purchases can benefit L&F through Amazon Smile, and/or you can purchase non-perishable food from Amazon and have them shipped directly to L&F (25 Woods Lake, Suite 810 Greenville, SC 29607.) Visit smile.amazon.com for details.

Attend the online auction April 5th and share the auction with your friends. Follow and “like” Loaves & Fishes on Facebook @tasteoftheupstate.

ABOUT: Loaves & Fishes is a 501(c)3 nonprofit established in 1991 to reduce hunger in Greenville County by rescuing unspoiled, surplus food before it is wasted. We believe that common sense solutions to reducing hunger exist and thanks to the many local grocery stores and farms, eateries, and community gardens we can eliminate the costly, logistical challenge of transporting food safely from place to place. The simple connection between surplus food and hungry bellies is a Loaves & Fishes truck. Our drivers and volunteers rescue food and deliver it daily free of charge to 101 of our partner agencies. Our goal is to eliminate food insecurity among neighbors by working hard to collect good food before it goes to waste.

CONTACT: Tessa May, Interim Executive Director, Loaves & Fishes, 864-232-3595, tessa@loavesandfishesgreenville.org