Assessment survey reveals food services a ‘pressing need’ for many Horry County families

Published: Nov. 24, 2021 at 6:30 PM EST
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - A new survey from the United Way of Horry County shows putting food on the table has become a struggle for families across the area.

The survey identified several pressing needs for families across the county.

The United Way partnered with several organizations to conduct the survey, much of it centered around food and shelter concerns.

Nearly 4,000 Horry County residents completed the Community Needs Assessment, with 74% of those households needing food assistance over the past year.

It was also determined 70% of those who took the survey are concerned about affordable housing options in the county.

Of that number, less than 50% of those Horry County residents have enough income to cover their basic needs without needing public assistance or family support services.

Blakely Roof, President for United Way of Horry County, says this survey allows the organization to map out what resources are better needed to support families.

Roof also explained that the assessment results also help the staff identify the barriers some are facing with accessing services that could help them.

In addition to the survey, the organization also went out into the communities to have small group discussions with residents to better identify the needs in their neighborhoods.

“75% of the people, whether it be in conversation or in the survey, said they didn’t know about any resources or they weren’t sure how to access them,” Roof said. “So that was a big light bulb for a lot of us in the nonprofit world. The services we offer are only as good as the people know how to access or use them.”

In addition to food and shelter, Roof says the survey and conversations revealed many residents want more support with mental health services.

“We talked to communities that typically aren’t open to talking about mental health,” she said. “That really came out in a lot of our conversations as well, about wanting to have better access to that and understanding it really made a difference in many areas of their life and they wish they had better resources for that.”

Roof says the survey results were immediately given to organizations and service providers in our area, stating it will help everyone work together and know where their resources are needed most in Horry County.

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