By Associated Press - Thursday, September 4, 2014

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Harvest Hope Food Bank says it has laid off 10 workers around the state because of unexpected expenses and increases in the number of people seeking help.

Multiple media outlets reported the food bank’s action reduces its workforce from 88 to 78. In addition, furloughs of one day per pay period are being ordered for workers at its operations in Columbia, Cayce, Florence and Greenville.

The food bank has been serving about 70,000 families a month this summer. That’s up from the average of 46,000 families served in the summer months in recent years. Harvest Hope president and chief executive Denise Holland says the economic recovery has not reached everyone, especially people living in rural areas.

“The people who are suffering from hunger have not seen an improvement in their financial condition yet,” Holland said. “I think that’s why the numbers have increased.”

Holland said the food bank has had added expenses, including added rental costs for delivery trucks to replace trucks being repaired or scrapped. The food bank has had to rent two forklifts, as well floor-cleaning equipment in Columbia.

Holland said a section of a roof that collapsed has been repaired in Greenville.

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