Since its inception, GrowFood Carolina has been searching for ways to connect local farmers and agriculture to serve food deserts and local communities. GrowFood is uniquely positioned and prepared to serve people in need—work we feel is necessary to sustain resilient coastal communities.
We need to raise $212,000 per year to deliver 100 boxes per week—more than 5,000 food boxes—to people in need across our 10 coastal counties. Distribution partners identified include the Lowcountry Food Bank, One80 Place, Enough Pie, Humanities Foundation, Metanoia, HELP of Beaufort, and others.
Box deliveries to our partners will begin as soon as funding is available and when we have adequate produce supply.
To support the families who receive our food boxes, we include a contents list and recipes in every box, and work with a local health and wellness specialist, WiBi of Arts and Remedies Wellness, to accompany the distributed boxes at each weekly community drop off location. WiBi has been able to further connect the food box recipients to the fresh food in each box, allowing them to maximize the use, value, and relationship to the box contents. For example, WiBi has prepared Doritos-flavored seasoning, comprised of nutritional yeast and cayenne, for children to add to their kale chips, and also blended fresh fruit smoothies for distribution on site.
With support from existing and new Coastal Conservation League donors, foundations, and corporations, this program would:
- Allow more partnerships and links to residents in our communities who deserve fresh, local food—In addition to our current partnerships, as restaurant deliveries to Beaufort, Hilton Head, and other coastal cities resume, food boxes could be delivered to nonprofit partners at the same time.
- Promote additional crop planning and provide stable purchase prices for farmers—We already work closely with farmers in the crop planning process for the coming season. This program will allow GrowFood to plan with growers several seasons into the future, providing consistent revenue without the typical market uncertainty. We can enter into agreements with farmers for production, guaranteeing pricing and quantities.
- Diversify revenue sources back to farmers—Sales to restaurants, grocery stores, and institutions will continue to provide revenue for our farm partners. Adding this program will provide another source of revenue, one that is more predictable and reliable. This diversification is extremely valuable since access to a variety of markets is essential to creating successful farms.
Soil to Sustenance will provide support for our farmers, local families, and our land protection goals–all critical components of resilience for our region, our communities, and our local food system.