Have you ever felt really hungry?

“I’m hungry!”

It’s a common phrase many of us say frequently as we wake up with a rumbling stomach or have to skip a meal due to our busy schedules. However, those aren’t true examples of hunger.

For a lot of people in Barnwell County, true hunger is an everyday occurrence.

That’s why food pantries, Snack Pack program, senior home-delivered meals programs and other similar programs are vital. Barnwell First Baptist Church and Gateway Church in Barnwell both have “blessing boxes” set up in front of their buildings where people can give and take food items. The motto of these boxes is “Take what you need, leave what you can.”

Before the Legion Center Ministry Soup Kitchen closed earlier this year, it served an average of 100 plates daily every Monday through Friday. That’s approximately 25,000 meals annually.

There has been a void since the soup kitchen closed six months ago for the people who depended on it. However, there is good news.

Barnwell First Baptist Church with support of other area churches and organizations, is opening a community soup kitchen in December. While they have enough partners and volunteers to open a couple days a week, they would like to open five days a week like the previous soup kitchen.

In order to make that a reality, they need volunteers, monetary donations and support. Read more about this new ministry on page 1A.

Anyone interested in being part of this ministry or simply getting more information is invited to a dinner on Friday, Nov. 17 at 6 p.m. in the activity center of First Baptist Church. A brief presentation will follow.

On Saturday, Nov. 18, a Gift & Craft Fair will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Winfield Heights Baptist Church’s Eddie Yelton Building (315 Chester St., Williston). Admission is free, but all proceeds from raffles, concessions and booth fees will be donated to the church’s food pantry. In addition to a variety of vendors, there will also be a bounce house, concessions, raffles and entertainment.

This is an easy and fun way to help our community while checking off your Christmas shopping list.

We also encourage you to donate or volunteer at any of the local food pantries. Several are operated by churches while another is run by Axis 1 Center of Barnwell. They always need donations of food to meet the need.

While it is typical to ask for support around the holidays, especially Thanksgiving, it’s important to realize there is a need all year long.

Can you give at least once a month? Even just a small bag of items can make a huge dent in hunger.

If don’t want to go shopping, then give a monetary donation. The Axis 1 Center can purchase food from Golden Harvest Food Bank and make a dollar stretch much more than we can at a local grocery store.

Volunteering your time at the soup kitchen, food pantry or the senior home-delivered meals program operated by Generations Unlimited is also a good way to utilize your time. Even an hour a week can make a big difference.

It doesn’t take a lot of money or time to help. Do what you can.

Let the grumbling in your stomach be a reminder.