Using Technology to Better Serve our Partner Agencies and Neighbor
Agency Express is an online portal that allows our partner agencies to place their food orders with real-time access to our warehouse inventory. Agencies can update or add items to their shopping list prior to their scheduled pickup or delivery, which allows greater flexibility in scheduling order pick-up appointments and eliminates ordering items that may be temporarily out of stock.
Emergency Food Assistance
Although LCFB makes food assistance available primarily through its partner agencies and mobile food distributions in communities throughout the Lowcountry, emergency food assistance is always available at our Charleston and Myrtle Beach facilities during business hours. At the height of the pandemic, more than 1,000 people every month came through LCFB doors for food assistance, most for the first time. “Client assist” has spiked again since pandemic-era assistance programs have expired. In the fourth quarter of 2022, the Charleston Regional Food Center served 3,166 individuals representing 988 households.
Link 2 Feed
Link 2 Feed software encourages conversations between LCFB partner agencies and neighbors who experience food insecurity and helps us distribute healthy foods that neighbors like to eat. The South Carolina Department of Agriculture requires Lowcountry Food Bank and its partner agencies to use Link2Feed to participate in The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP)/USDA program. Conversations between pantries and their neighbors help the partner agencies better understand their neighbors’ dietary preferences.
As of April 3, 2023, our partners using Link2Feed reported serving 195,719 individuals representing 104,476 families in 2023!
The Ability to Choose Food When Obtaining Food Assistance Brings Dignity
Our Agency Relations and Community Health and Nutrition teams have regular conversations with our partner agencies about what level of choice they offer when they’re distributing food. We collaborate to see how LCFB can be of assistance in building out and sharing their agency’s capacity with refrigeration, storage, and volunteers. We want our neighbors to have the dignity of making decisions for themselves and their families when receiving food. The ability to offer food choice is a requirement for new partner agencies that are onboarded.
This article was originally published in our 2022 Annual Impact Report. View the full report here.
About the Lowcountry Food Bank: Feed. Advocate. Empower.
The Lowcountry Food Bank serves the 10 coastal counties of South Carolina and distributed more than 39 million pounds of food in 2023. The Lowcountry Food Bank helps fight hunger by distributing food to nearly 230 partner agencies including on-site meal programs, homeless shelters and emergency food pantries. The Lowcountry Food Bank advocates on behalf of those who experience hunger and helps empower people to make healthy and nutritious food choices. For more information, visit the Lowcountry Food Bank website.