Serve & Connect Celebrates 7 Years of Greg’s Groceries Program

Serve & Connect, a Columbia-based non-profit organization, is marking the seventh anniversary of its Greg’s Groceries program. Launched in 2017, Greg’s Groceries provides police departments with boxes of non-perishable food to distribute to individuals and families in need. The program is named in honor of Forest Acres Police Officer Greg Alia, who lost his life in the line of duty in 2015.

Greg’s Groceries began as a partnership between Serve & Connect, the Columbia Police Department, and the Swansea Police Department. Over the past seven years, the program has expanded to involve 21 police departments across South Carolina. The initiative is aimed at building trust between police officers and the communities they serve while addressing immediate food needs.

Each Greg’s Groceries box contains enough non-perishable food to feed a family of four for a week. The program has delivered more than 45,000 meals to individuals or families facing food insecurity. Serve & Connect collaborates with Harvest Hope Food Bank to implement the program, with boxes being packed at Harvest Hope Food Bank sites and distributed to participating police departments.

Police officers play a crucial role in identifying families or individuals in need of essential non-perishable food items and delivering the boxes directly to them. The program not only meets immediate food needs but also helps officers build trust and relationships with vulnerable citizens in the community.

Data from the program indicate positive outcomes, with 88% of Greg’s Groceries recipients agreeing that the program builds trust with the police. Additionally, 100% of surveyed police officers noted that the program helps foster new connections with the community and increases the resources available for community policing.

Greg’s Groceries aligns with the mission of Serve & Connect to promote positive interactions and relationships between law enforcement and the communities they serve. The program embodies the late Officer Greg Alia’s belief that positive stories between police and the community far outnumber negative ones.

For more information about Greg’s Groceries and Serve & Connect, visit

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