Twelfth Circuit Solicitor E.L Clements III presented a donation of 2,590 pounds of food gathered through his Community Arbitration Program to Harvest Hope Food Bank’s Pee Dee facility at 2513 West Lucas Street on July 31. Harvest Hope’s Micheal Murphy accepted the donation. This is the second donation the Solicitor’s Office has made to Harvest Hope this year to help in their mission to provide for struggling Pee Dee families. Twelfth Circuit Solicitor Ed Clements’ Juvenile Arbitration Program has partnered with Harvest Hope Food Bank in order to bring the blessings of giving to young people passing through the Arbitration Program. Currently the 12th Circuit Solicitor’s office is the only solicitor’s office contributing to Harvest Hope’s mission, but he encourages other offices to do their part and raise donations for Harvest Hope. The Juvenile Arbitration Program is designed to divert first time non-violent/ non-status offenders out of the Family Court system and into an informal arbitration setting that is operated by trained, committed volunteers using the Restorative Justice Model. Clements reports that juvenile offenders were given the opportunity to donate nonperishable food items to Harvest Hope. Being able to provide such substantial items to their own backyards provided the youth with the feeling of community involvement and awareness, a feeling that is both restorative and hopeful for our future. The first-time juvenile offenders, who are going through the Juvenile Arbitration Program with Solicitor Clements’ office as a part of their sanctions, purchased nonperishable food items. They documented how they earned the money and then brought in their documentation, food items that they purchased themselves, and receipt of purchase to the Arbitration Office. Solicitor Clements was delighted that the Juvenile Arbitration Program was able to partner with Harvest Hope Food Bank. He commends those young people participating in arbitration for purchasing and contributing even more than they were required to contribute as a part of their sanctions. Clements states that his office will continue programs like these in the future in an effort to meet the needs of our young people in learning how to make better choices, as well as to help our area grow stronger as a community. For more information on Harvest Hope’s mission to feed struggling individuals and families in the Pee Dee please visit www.harvesthope.org.