Take a Bite Out of Hunger and Save on Zoo Admission During Toucan Tuesdays

For Immediate Release: June 3, 2024

Community Partnership Benefitting Harvest Hope Food Bank Returns June 11

Columbia, SC — Riverbanks Zoo and Garden is excited to partner with Harvest Hope Food Bank for the return of Toucan Tuesdays. On Tuesday, June 11, guests who visit Riverbanks will receive buy-one get-one admission to the park and buy-one get-one regular sized ICEEs with a donation of two cans (or bags and boxes) of non-perishable food items.  

Toucan Tuesdays will take place 10 consecutive Tuesdays through August 13. Donation bins will be located at the Zoo and Garden entrances. There is no limit to the number of Tuesdays guests can participate for discounted admission.

“We are always looking for ways to support and give back to the community that has supported us for the past 50 years,” says Tommy Stringfellow, president and CEO of Riverbanks Zoo and Garden. “If we can in any way alleviate hunger concerns while still promoting conservation, this partnership is a win-win for everyone involved.”

Harvest Hope’s most needed items include canned vegetables, canned proteins like chicken and tuna, one-pound bags of dried beans, and one-pound boxes of pasta. The goal this summer is to collect 5,000 pounds of food, which would equate to about 6,000 meals.

"Summer is a time for families to explore and have fun outdoors," says Erinn Rowe, CEO of Harvest Hope Food Bank. “But for many South Carolina families, especially one in five children, summer can also mean increased hunger. That's why we're thrilled to partner with Riverbanks Zoo and Garden again this year. Together, we can raise awareness about food insecurity and collect much-needed donations to help families struggling to put food on the table.”

In 2023, the generosity of Zoo guests generated 3,405 pounds of food for Harvest Hope. The promotion was shelved in 2020 and 2021 because of COVID-related restrictions but has brought in 48,551 pounds of food since the partnership began in 2010. As Riverbanks celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, with the community’s help, this will also be the year we hit the milestone of 50,000 pounds of food collected.  

Toucan Tuesdays will take place every Tuesday, June 11 – August 13. The promotion applies to general admission rates only (purchase one admission and get the second for equal or lesser value free; Explorer wristbands and Riverbanks’ memberships are not included).

 | Toucan Tuesday Logo |     | Toucan Tuesday 2023 Pictures |

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About Riverbanks Zoo and Garden: Riverbanks Zoo and Garden is home to more than 3,000 magnificent and fascinating animals and one of America’s best public gardens. The Zoo opened on April 25, 1974, and for five decades, has connected individuals, families and school children with the natural world. Riverbanks is an accredited member of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums and is recognized as a global leader in animal care and welfare, education, recreation, science and wildlife conservation. It is the mission of the Zoo and Garden to create meaningful connections and inspire actions that will have a lasting impact on conservation. For more information, visit riverbanks.org.
 About Harvest Hope Food Bank: Harvest Hope is building a hunger-free tomorrow in 20 counties across South Carolina. Rescuing food from stores that is at risk of being discarded, as well as sourcing food from the community and producers, they distribute it to local food pantries and through multiple feeding programs. These programs provide food for some of SC’s most vulnerable citizens – children, seniors, and rural residents who don’t have access to reliable transportation to grocery stores. On average, Harvest Hope provides over 20 million meals to neighbors in need across their service area. Learn more and get involved at harvesthope.org.