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South Carolina food pantry counting on Boy Scouts to help feed hungry families

Scouting for Food fundraiser helps Clover organization serve those who need it the most with dignity and respect

CLOVER, S.C. — The mission is clear at Clover Area Assistance Center in Clover, South Carolina; to provide basic needs assistance in the form of food, financial help and education to people and families living within the boundaries of the Clover School District and to do it with care and compassion.

“It's hard to ask for help. It's hard to be in a situation you need help and we're here. We're here for those people,” Executive Director, Karen van Vierssen said.

Van Vierssen said on average, the organization serves 160 families on a monthly basis.

Monetary donations to Clover Area Assistance Center can be made online.  WCNC Charlotte and the TEGNA Foundation will match up to the first $2,500 donated.

Clover Area Assistance Center operates what it calls a “Full Choice Pantry” which means clients have the freedom to shop the pantry shelves picking what they need and what they want.

“A lot of people, they only come here once, maybe they'll come here for years, maybe they'll only just come here until they get over a hump in their lives; so people come here for all different reasons but what's really important to us is that when they do come here, that they feel good about being here, that they feel like they were treated with respect and with dignity and that we understand and that's what we're all about,” van Vierssen said.

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Van Vierssen said Clover Area Assistance Center relies 100% on community donations. It's why their partnership with the Boy Scouts "Scouting for Food" drive means so much.

“We are really fortunate. They had always been one of our very largest, biggest donations that we would receive at one time is Scouting For Food,” van Vierssen said. 

Clover Area Assistance Center doesn't just provide food, they help families plan for their future. 

"We also offer classes that have to do with budgeting and finance and so we have people come in and attend that so we can help them learn how to work with what they have. It's more than just emergent care. It's really trying to help people move above and beyond,” van Vierssen said. 

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It’s the perfect example of neighbors helping neighbors. Van Vierssen said it's just what you do when you live in Western York county.

“We don't have a lot of the same resources that other towns in the county have and so we really, kind of, everybody works together and kind of takes care of what this need is right here,” van Vierssen said.

So when you see the Boy Scouts out in your neighborhood, hanging door tags for donations know your generosity is greatly appreciated.

Van Vierssen said, “We're all just one crisis away from walking in the same shoes as everybody who walks through our doors every day because it could happen to any one of us, at any point in time and so I think we all need to be cognizant of that and gentle about that because it could be us.”


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