At Golden Corner Food Pantry in Seneca, SC we distribute groceries to ~2,000 Oconee County residents per month who rely on us for emergency and supplemental food. On Easter Monday morning 2020, an EF3 tornado passed nearby, devastating parts of Seneca and the county we serve. The Pantry building was not impacted, but the electricity was out for nearly a week! With help, we quickly improvised and saved the refrigerated and frozen food we keep on-hand at the Pantry, but this experience showed us our vulnerability. Without power we put our perishable food at risk, we had no lights for volunteers to perform their duties, and we had no phone for clients to contact us. We made it work this time but we could see the need to be better prepared in the future.

Then, like a good friend, the Seneca Lions Club came to our aid once again. The Lions have supported the Pantry for years with donations, volunteers and their eyeglasses and hearing aid resources administered through our Make Life Better program. When Kathy Carroll, Seneca Lions Club President, reached out to us shortly after the tornado, her goal was to help in any way her organization could. After some discussion of possibilities, the idea of the emergency generator surfaced. This was a significant capital expenditure and thanks to Kathy’s vision, enthusiasm and persistence (as well as a little help from her friends), the emergency generator is now a reality.

When installation was completed last week, we all slept better knowing that the Pantry would not suffer again from a disruption of service due to a power failure. When we lose power in the future the food will be safe and our clients can rely on us to be there for them. Carolina Generators did a thorough and professional job from start to finish – we are fortunate to have had their help and guidance every step of the way. This is a tremendous addition to the Food Pantry! For decades to come, the clients, volunteers, Board Directors, and Lions Club members will be able to look back proudly at this partnership as a time when the Seneca Community truly came together to help ensure a legacy of uninterrupted service to those in need of food in Oconee County.

Mike Harlin, Board Chairman

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