Doubling funds raised in 2017 and enabling the purchase of 12,000 weekend BackPack meals for local students
AIKEN, S.C., (June 21, 2018) – Savannah River Nuclear Solutions (SRNS) employees recently worked together to say "no" to hunger found throughout the Central Savannah River Area, raising more than $60,000 in monetary donations for the Golden Harvest Food Bank (GHFB) "BackPack" Program for children. In addition, over 1,000 pounds of food were gathered throughout the Savannah River Site (SRS) as well from collection barrels during their annual food drive.
"The Golden Harvest Food Bank distributes $9 of food with every $1 donated," said Travis Bradley, SRNS Food Drive Chairperson. "The efficiency and effectiveness of the system used by Golden Harvest means this year's monetary donations by SRNS employees will generate the purchase of enough food to create 12,000 bags of food to be loaded into back packs during the school year, feeding hundreds of local kids."
According to GHFB Executive Director Travis McNeal, in Georgia and South Carolina, one in five children lives in a family at or below the federal poverty level. These children often receive assistance from programs operating during the week, such as free or reduced-price lunches and after school programs. However, it is over the weekend that many of these children risk going hungry, often returning to school on Mondays, famished and weak, thinking only of the free meal that will come at breakfast or lunch time.
The GHFB BackPack Program meets the needs of children facing hunger by providing them with a bag of nutritious, easy-open food every Friday during the school year. Each bag contains enough food for four meals to help recipients through the weekend. This program enables participants to arrive Monday at school well fed.
“We are so thankful to have SRNS as a partner,” said McNeal. “It speaks volumes about the character and heart of an organization that supports our community with so much enthusiasm. Their level of generosity, year after year, is exceptional.”
Bradley added that several SRNS volunteers assisting Golden Harvest have sons and daughters who are teachers. As educators in local schools, they have witnessed first-hand the importance of this program. “There’s so much more demand than food available for those in need. We’re doing our best to help close that gap,” said Bradley. “And what our employees and volunteer helpers have achieved through this year’s food drive will have a significant impact on children in the communities surrounding SRS.”
“The SRNS company itself contributed $5,000 to this very important program,” added Bradley. “In fact, SRNS annually contributes approximately one million dollars each year to the charitable needs found in so many areas throughout the region.”
In addition to the annual food drive, SRNS employees often volunteer at Golden Harvest’s Distribution Centers and have purchased Golden Harvest t-shirts to help spread the food bank’s mission.
“We are especially grateful that SRNS has put their annual food drive focus on children,” said McNeal. “The employees were extremely responsive and demonstrated their belief in the value of the BackPack Program through their highly appreciated gifts.”
Over 4,400 children annually are supplied with weekend food bags through the GHFB BackPack Program.
Savannah River Nuclear Solutions is a Fluor-led company whose members are Fluor Federal Services, Newport News Nuclear and Honeywell, responsible for the management and operations of the Department of Energy’s Savannah River Site, including the Savannah River National Laboratory, located near Aiken, South Carolina.