FLORENCE, S.C. – The May board meeting of the Pee Dee Realtors Association turned into a charitable challenge for members of the association after hearing Nicole Echols, development manager of Harvest Hope Pee Dee, speak about the Harvest Hope Food Bank needs.

One board member pledged a $100 and 100 cans of food to the food bank, said Samantha Carter, presidents of the Pee Dee Realtors Association. Carter said she challenged others to make a donation to Harvest Hope, and as a result, the association raised $2,000 and 100 cans of food for Harvest Hope. A ceremonial check was presented to Harvest Hope on Wednesday, along with the cans of food.

“This donation, one of many from the Pee Dee Realtors Association and members to Harvest Hope, arrives at a time when donations are dropping, but the demand is increasing,” according to a Harvest Hope media advisory.

“When children are at school, they’re being served breakfast and lunch, but when summer comes, they’re now eating these meals at home,” said Echols in the advisory. “This change takes a toll (on) families, and it shows in the number of families we help over the summer. We are so grateful to Pee Dee Realtors Association for this donation so we can provide good, hearty foods to these children.”

Carter said the challenge was not the intent of the meeting but after hearing Echols the group wanted to help. About 20 members made donations.

Carter said the Realtors like to help in the community. There are 400 Realtors in the Pee Dee Realtors Association and 118 affiliates, Carter said.

The Pee Dee Realtors Association hopes to continue to partner with Harvest Hop in coming months to help in the fight against hunger. Its $2,000 contribution, along with the food, will help support needy families in the Pee Dee.

A recent study by Feeding America found that 18.7 percent of the population in the Pee Dee is considered food insecure, beating the state average of 13.5 percent, according to Harvest Hope.

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