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Food bank gets lift from grocery shoppers
America's Second Harvest of Coastal Georgia now has 16,000 more pounds of food in its pantry, thanks to customers of local grocery stores.

Winn-Dixie gave the nonprofit, which provides food at a low cost to area food banks, just under $10,000, enough for the organization to purchase 16,833 pounds of food Friday.

The food is expected to feed 11,000 people.

"It'll go a long way in helping us keep our shelves stocked so that the agencies and partners that we work with will have enough food to help the people in our community in need," said Jamie Kendall, executive director of Second Harvest.

The money was raised by patrons of local Winn-Dixie grocery stores who opted to make a donation during checkout.

"Feeding people who don't have any food is a wonderful feeling," said Greg Vengrin, store director. "We're just very proud of it."

It couldn't come at a better time. Second Harvest continues to experience an increase in need in the Golden Isles.

"We have seen an increase in our food distribution, a tremendous increase, over last year," Kendall said.

Regardless of the amount of donations, there's always a need for more, Kendall said.

Almost as soon as food hits the shelves, it's headed out the door to someone in need.

"Folks are struggling out there right now," Kendall said. "It's not just people who are unemployed. It's people who are underemployed and who can't make ends meet."

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