NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) – Many live paycheck to paycheck, and when natural disaster strikes, businesses are forced to shut down for days leaving workers to suffer financially.
Food service employees still recovering from Hurricane Dorian now have the opportunity to stretch their paycheck and catch up financially, but they need to act fast.
Mandatory evacuations during Hurricane Dorian kept employees from working for nearly a week generating zero income.
Three local Episcopal churches are in partnership with The Giving Kitchen, an Atlanta-based organization, to grant financial assistance to hourly food service employees in Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach, and Pawleys Island communities.
The partnership between The Episcopal Church in South Carolina (TECSC) and The Giving Kitchen will grant $25,000 in financial assistance to employees struggling to make ends meet due to the inability to work during Dorian.
Publix and Walmart gift cards are being distributed in amounts ranging from $50 to $500 to help stretch incomes a little further than normal.
Assistance with grocery shopping allows finances to be focused on other resources for the individuals or their families while catching up.
Many of these hourly workers include individuals parenting children who have to go to school or those taking care of loved ones.
“There are people in this category who are having to make the decision between buying medication or buying food or paying other bills.” Rev. Dr. Wilmot Merchant II, Minister of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in North Myrtle Beach said.
The average amount in gift cards being granted to applicants is $300.
“One of the individuals that already received help got a gift card for $450,” Merchant said.
Membership or participation in the Episcopal church is not a requirement to apply.
Coastal communities in South Carolina receiving the same grant opportunity have had over 150 applicants. Giving Kitchen organization members told News 13 on Tuesday only one person in the Myrtle Beach area has taken advantage of this grant.
The Episcopal Diocese of Georgia, Savannah, received the same grant to serve coastal Georgia.
Food service workers eligible for the grant can apply online now until September 30th at https://thegivingkitchen.org/dorian.
All applicants need to provide proof of current employment and financial need.