By Joy Stump, Community Relations Coordinator
In a world that often seems divided, there is one universal truth that unites almost everyone — the importance of giving back.
For as long as any Southside Electric Cooperative employee can remember, during the holiday season, SEC’s five offices serve as gathering spots for nonperishable food items to be donated to a food pantry in their region. SEC has a service area of 18 counties across central and southern Virginia, so quite a few food banks receive these donations.
Food pantries play a crucial role in communities, offering a lifeline to individuals and families facing food insecurity. Year after year, SEC’s holiday food drive helps these pantries remain stocked and ready to assist those who depend on them. This need remains greater than ever.
“Thus far this year, FACES Food Pantry has registered 115 new households, and we have served 500 more individuals than we had at the same time a year ago,” shares Joanna Baker, one of the co-presidents of FACES, located in Farmville. “We are on pace to help well over 2,200 individuals by year’s end. That would be a new record for us.”
Cooperative employees will collect nonperishable food items from the Monday after anksgiving to around Dec. 15 and then deliver to the food banks.
SEC employees know that the holiday season is not only a time for celebration but also a season of giving. SEC’s food drive serves as a shining example of how a dedicated, committed organization can lead the way in making communities stronger, more compassionate and better equipped to face the challenges of hunger.
The annual food drive is part of SEC’s Concern for Community, one of the Seven Cooperative Principles.