CONWAY, SC (WBTW) – With World Hunger Day last month and National Hunger Awareness Day this month, one Horry County non-profit soup kitchen is trying to slash the South Carolina statistic that one in seven struggle with hunger.
The Shepherd’s Table regular and veteran Joe Gore says he and others in Horry County rely on the kitchen for a hot meal.
“There’s people that would go hungry or would not get enough to eat if this place wasn’t here,” said Gore.
At The Shepherd’s Table, they call him Mr. Joe. “I’m a Vietnam veteran,” he said.
He’s driven from Tabor City, North Carolina every day for the past four years to have a hot meal.
“As with any day and month, hunger does not take a day off or a vacation, so those days are especially special to us because we, that does bring awareness to what we do here,” said Tanya Mauldin, The Shepherd’s Table’s director.
Days like World Hunger Day in May and National Hunger Awareness Day in June are no different from any other day at The Shepherd’s Table in Conway.
They serve nearly 200 people a day between lunch and dinner.
Regulars like Mr. Joe and one Conway native tell News13 that The Shepherd’s Table is their lifeline here in Horry County.
Mauldin says her goal is to lower the statistic that one in six children in Horry County alone suffer from hunger, because she knows what it’s like.
“Growing up, I was one of the kids that didn’t have a meal whenever I got home, so that’s where I came from,” she said.
They’re not funded federally, but Mauldin says different area churches, businesses and organizations fund the non-profit.
“A place like the Shepherd’s Table here is a place where people can come to that don’t have money, they’re down on their luck or some circumstances have put them where they can’t afford to eat hardly,” said Gore.
Mr. Joe tells News13 he remembers reading that there’s enough food thrown away in the United States everyday to fill the Rose Bowl stadium.
He says places like The Shepherd’s Table could help slash that statistic.