Amy Breitmann had just started her third month of leading the Golden Harvest Food Bank team when the coronavirus pandemic created urgent new priorities for the nonprofit, which serves 25 counties in Georgia and South Carolina.
For starters, Golden Harvest needed to replace hundreds of volunteers sidelined by stay-at-home orders. “Our volunteers donate nearly 30,000 hours of labor doing everything from sorting food to cooking meals at our soup kitchen,” says Amy, who joined the nonprofit in 2019 and was named executive director earlier this year. “We couldn’t provide 14 million meals a year without them.” The solution? Golden Harvest asked for and received service members from local National Guard and State Guard units.
The pandemic’s economic impact also required new strategies in sourcing food. “The number of calls for food assistance has tripled since the coronavirus began spreading,” says Amy. To meet that need, Golden Harvest is bringing in additional trucks filled with produce and non-perishable food each week at a cost of $25,000.