Golden Harvest Food Bank has reached a historic milestone of serving 300 million meals since the organization’s inception over 40 years ago.
In 1982, local church organizations saw a growing need to feed the hungry in the downtown Augusta area due to a lack of food resources caused by a recession and a once thriving area being vacated. Founder and first Golden Harvest executive director Mike Firmin answered the call to serve and led the collective charge to gather support from the community to provide food for those in need of assistance, according to a news release from the food bank.
In its first year, the food bank collected more than 200,000 pounds of food which equates to more than 167,000 meals served. Twenty-five years after its founding, Golden Harvest Food Bank reached the milestone of 100 million meals served; and 15 years later, the organization has officially served over 300 million meals.
“If it wasn’t for the community that has continued to stand alongside us since our founding, we would never have been able to reach such a remarkable milestone,” said Amy Breitmann, the food bank’s president and CEO. “We are truly blessed to be able to provide the resources our partner agencies and programs need to put food on the table for our neighbors experiencing food insecurity.”
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The once small operation serving the downtown Augusta area has since grown to serve 25 counties in Georgia and South Carolina, covering an 11,000 square mile area with warehouse distribution sites in Augusta and Aiken. Golden Harvest Food Bank also works with more than 350 partner agencies and programs. It also owns and operates The Master’s Table in downtown Augusta which provides a hot meal to 200 people each day from 11 a.m. to noon.
According to data from Feeding America, one in eight people in Golden Harvest’s 25-county service area struggle with hunger.