Local Business Working to Stop Hunger

Gus and his team

Gus and his team

When Midas Franchisee Gus Herlong happened to drive by Harvest Hope Food Bank (https://www.harvesthope.org/), he was “astonished” at the vehicles lined up with people in need. The line “literally goes for MILES & MILES and miles and miles down the road of sitting cars – every single day,” Gus said.

“This is a big food bank for our area too, yet each day they send out people to draw a line in the cars waiting to send off the cars that won’t make it to the food bank before they run out – every day….., Gus explained. “I have never seen anything like it before here. Truly unbelievable!”

So Gus came up with a plan—a new hunger-fighting initiative he launched last week to assist folks whose livelihoods have been jeopardized by a COVID-slammed local economy, taking hundreds of pounds of rice, beans, tomatoes, peas, peanut butter, soup, tuna, pasta and sundry canned goods to Harvest Hope every few days

From now through Feb. 13, Team Herlong is offering a free conventional oil change voucher to anyone who donates 10 cans of food at one of their 17 Midas locations (https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fi/rijjtcjme4xgupb5lnpyn/SC-Locations.docx?dl=0&rlkey=v1p1sj88r324i7fc0fdy46rf7) in Columbia and Charleston to the Harvest Hope Food Bank. He’s offering a free oil change for anyone that donates 10 or more cans of food, which he is collecting for the food bank.

One week in, the effort is having an impact. “The food boxes are overflowing,” said Herlong, who in partnership with his father, Jimmy, has a long history of food drives and blood drives, as well as sponsoring Camp Cole (https://www.campcole.org/), a specialized summer camp for children, teens and young adults with illnesses and disabilities. “I had to pick up at two stores today with 578 pounds of food … and I need to pick up at several more.”

For Herlong, the success of the drive confirms what he already knew about his community. “South Carolina is a close-knit, small-town kind of place, so the response doesn’t surprise me. We are one of many businesses that are supporting Harvest Hope, including some big hitters. Together, we are having an impact--and that’s important.

“After all, our neighbors, friends, family and customers could be in that line of cars.”

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