Critical Needs Assistance

Many families have incomes that are at or below the poverty level. Poverty is linked with negative experiences such as food insecurity, homelessness, and poor health care. Poverty’s effect on children is significant. For some students, school is the most reliable source of food. The students may have poor hygiene because their families lack the resources to purchase essential personal health care items. Children in poverty may also miss out on opportunities that youth from more privileged families take for granted.


The Critical Needs Assistance Program helps meet the critical needs of low-income persons. Emphasis is on persons that reside in the 29203-zip code of Columbia, South Carolina.

Critical needs assistance activities include:

• Assisting persons to purchase food, pay rent, or pay utilities.
• Donating Sacks of Love that contain food items for students to carry home for consumption on the weekend during the school year. Studies show that adequately nourished students perform better academically and socially.
• Stocking food pantries.
• Donating Christmas food baskets to food insecure families.
• Conducting community food giveaways.
• Donating personal hygiene items to schools for students whose families lack the resources to purchase essential personal health care items. When students feel good about their appearance, they perform better academically and socially.
• Providing opportunities for youth to participate in cultural, artistic and sporting activities at no cost.
• Conducting wellness activities such as free health screenings.
• Conducting activities that educate, enlighten, and entertain community members.