Ameris Bank has decided to do something about these statistics.
Since 2010, the bank has hosted an annual, company-wide food drive, Helping Fight Hunger, throughout the month of October. This October marks the fifth year that each Ameris branch will choose a local food pantry to collect canned goods for.
"At the end of the month, the Ameris Bancorp will make a monetary donation (along with the food collected) to the food bank of choice that is determined by the amount of food collected by each branch," said Scott Timmons, Assistant Vice President and Tigerville Branch Manager.
"Last year, Ameris collected more than half a million food items to donate to several local food banks and gave a total of $75,000 to various food banks in South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama and Florida, where our 80 branches are located," said Timmons.
The Woodruff Road and downtown Greenville locations have worked with Harvest Hope Food Bank in Greenville, S.C. for the past three years.
"Because of companies like Ameris, we were able to serve 1,971,212 individuals last year and continue to serve families on a daily basis," said Jordan Littleton, Community Development and Events Assistant at Harvest Hope.
"We are so thankful for such great community partners and appreciate the continued support," Littleton added.
The new Ameris branch at North Greenville University will donate to a different, more local, organization this year.
"Since this is our first year in the North Greenville Community we wanted to focus a little more close to home so the branch here will be collecting for North Greenville Food Crisis Ministry," said Timmons.
According to the organization's website, "The North Greenville Food Crisis Ministry . . . provides food, clothing, and crisis utility assistance to individuals facing crisis situation."
Timmons said he believes that raising awareness about food crisis in our nation and our community is of high importance because most people have no idea there is such a need in America.
"Making people aware is huge because most people think America is not as bad off as other countries in the world and America doesn't need any help. The fact is there are probably people down the street or around the corner from them that are in desperate need of assistance," said Timmons.
Raising local awareness and support is why Timmons said he appreciates what Ameris is doing with their campaign, Helping Fight Hunger.
"What I love about Ameris' approach to the food drive is that our leaders realized the people we need to help most are in the individual communities that our branches are located," he said. "They are our neighbors and these children that are food insecure play with my children at school."
To get involved, drop off any non-perishable food items at any Ameris Bank location during the month of October or visit https://www.amerisbank.com/community/helping_fight_hunger/get_involved.