CONWAY, S.C. (WBTW) — Families in need may be at greater risk this holiday season due to the ongoing supply chain issues.
The global supply chain shortage has some groups working around the issue just weeks before Thanksgiving. Groups like the Salvation Army have been there while others are facing challenges.
Now everyone is challenged because of supply chain disruptions and that has groups bracing for empty shelves.
Thousands of families in Horry County who depend on local groups will be impacted this holiday season, but leaders assured News13 that they won’t go without.
“We’re aware of it. We’re anticipating it. And we’re praying it doesn’t happen,” Captain Carl Melton, command officer at the Salvation Army said.
Leaning on a prayer isn’t new for Melton, but he’s praying to keep families who visit the Salvation Army well fed this holiday season.
The Christian organization relies on monetary and food donations year-round. Melton worries empty shelves seen in stores could lead to empty shelves at the organization’s pantry.
“If people in the community have a hard time getting food for their own family are they then going to then go out and buy food for us to fill up our pantry?” Melton asked.
A shortage of workers is limiting food supply at grocery stores, shelters, and even local food banks.
“We’re not able to provide turkeys this year to the majority of our partner agencies this year,” Heather Singleton, the regional food center manager at the Lowcountry Food Bank, said.
Singleton said groups like New Directions and The Shepherd’s Table who usually have turkeys by now are having to find them somewhere else.
“It’s very concerning because it’s not just turkeys we are talking about. We’re talking about protein – meats in general,” Singleton said.
As sources have gone dry, donations of any size or amount are critical this holiday season. “We feel very confident about the people. We know circumstances are different this year and the Lord will bless us,” Melton said.
In a most recent study with the Associated Press NORC-Center for Public Affairs Research and Impact Genome, 37% of Americans depend on non-profit groups or the government for food assistance. That’s an increase from the 23% seen last year.
The Lowcountry Food Bank said there’s only enough turkey for local food distributions. Singleton said turkeys will be given away at the Conway Parks and Recreation Center on November 19th and at Crossway Baptist Church in Loris starting Thursday.
The Salvation Army is accepting monetary donations online. Checks and food donations can be dropped off at 1415 Second Ave. in Conway.
The Lowcountry Food Bank said there’s plenty of other food items available to those in need. It is also accepting donations online.
Both groups are also in need of volunteers.