Local organizations receive million dollar donations from Author

Community

AUGUSTA (WJBF) – Author and philanthropist Mckenzie Scott donated nearly $20 million dollars to both Goodwill of the CSRA and the Golden Harvest Food Bank for their work in the community.

Goodwill of the CSRA is being gifted $10 million dollars. That is the largest donation the organization has received in its 45 years of service.

Jim Stiff the president of The Goodwill of the CSRA and Helms College said, “In her [McKenzie Scott] generosity she has given us a new capacity to serve people and new dollars to lift people out of poverty.”

Goodwill plans to invest their donation in their ‘Hand Up Campaign’, it’s a “comprehensive campaign we’ve had as part of our strategic plan for several years,” said Stiff. “The Augusta campus on Washington Road already has a school of hospitality at Helms College; we’ll be growing our school of health services and then we’ll be adding a school of technology and business,” Stiff added.

The Golden Harvest Food Bank also received a historic donation of $9 million dollars for their fight to help end food insecurity in the area.

“This gift is just such an honor, and we are really accepting it on behalf of the 25 counties that we serve in this community who have just built this food bank from the beginning, and been behind us as we continue to partne and serve those that need us, so we’re really just privileged and honored,” said Amy Breitmann, the executive director of the Golden Harvest Food Bank.

Food insecurity has skyrocketed in Augusta as well as the state.

Breitmann said, “In a typical year we move about 14 million pounds of food, this year that has ramped way up because of the pandemic so we’ve done about 157 mobile markets.”

Breitmann says 42 percent of families using these services are doing so for the first time. Right now 1 in 6 adults and 1 in 4 children are being impacted by food insecurity.

Golden Harvest plans to expand their services as well, but the work to end food insecurity isn’t over yet. The organization is looking for more volunteers to help with food distributions.

Right now nearly 20 percent of Georgians are struggling with hunger. In 2009, 15.6 percent of Georgians were food insecure, that number began to decrease in 2019 to 10 percent.

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