East Cooper Community Outreach extends assistance

  • Monday, June 9, 2014

Volunteer Carol Switzer stocks ECCO’s newly installed, space-efficient shelves with healthy goods. STAFF PHOTOS BY CIAPHA DENNIS

East Cooper Community Outreach (ECCO) has doubled its food storage capacity, extending its assistance for East Cooper families living in poverty.

With more than 200,000 pounds of food storage last year, the warehouse, which had not been changed since its construction over 10 years ago, wasn't able to properly accommodate the influx of donations. Thanks to a generous donor, not-for-profit organization South Carolina Strong and months of research and planning, the warehouse has added more than 70 shelves, each able to hold up to 1,500 pounds – doubling the previous capacity limit.

For potential clients, this means more money to meet other necessities, according to Director of Development Alana Morrall.

“This will help them free up their income to spend it on other things they need,” Morrall said.

ECCO offers services ranging from medical assistance to personal counseling, meeting the needs of a community in which poverty is oftentimes overlooked, according to Director of Volunteer Engagement Rachel Vane. “When you think of Mount Pleasant, you don't think of poverty,” Vane said.

However, the primary needs of ECCO's visitors are food and clothing. In recent years, the demand for food has been even greater during the summer, which is also a time when food donations slow down. Vane noted that “most of us are thinking about vacations, barbeques and spending time with our friends and family. However, our clients, especially those with kids, are spending their summers worrying about finding childcare and food.”

A new sorting area has also been added to the layout, which will allow the organization to better utlilize their resources through its order fulfillment process.

For residents, East Cooper Community Outreach is essential to the public. Katheryn Carlon, who received assitance from ECCO in the past, appreciates the group for their service.

“They're a diamond in the community,” Carlon said.

The Food Warehouse will reopen on Monday, June 9 at 10 a.m. For volunteer opportunities, contact Rachel Vane at rvane@eccocharleston.org or call 843-416-7111. Donations can be made at www.eccocharleston.org.

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