June 2017
Did you know food is the thing Americans throw away most often? In fiscal year 2015, South Carolina produced an estimated 607,000 tons of food waste.

It's hard when you're committed to increasing food access to think about how much food heads for landfills every year. But fortunately, public-private partnerships around campaigns like Don't Waste Food SC are working together with the goal of cutting food waste in half by 2030.

At South Carolina Community Loan Fund, we have been inspired to see one of our borrowers, Atlas Organics, at the forefront of the "table to farm" movement. They are a composting company who has added education to their business model. Atlas Organics is focusing primarily on schools, especially elementary schools. "We are hoping to interrupt the thought process of food waste being considered garbage," says Jim. "The hope is that by introducing the 'why' and 'how' of composting, as young kids become adults, they will grow to expect something totally different in terms of what gets thrown away and what doesn't."

The compost Atlas Organics creates makes its way to local farmers and is a valuable commodity to urban farmers in particular. We are excited to see campaigns like DHEC's Don't Waste Food SC continue to spur economic growth, decrease waste, and increase food access. Hopefully the children learning from Atlas Organics will, as Jim Davis says, grow up to expect something totally different. 

In partnership,
Anna Hamilton Lewin
Chief Operating Officer

PS- You can watch Atlas Organics' education program in action!

SCCLF is currently conducting a survey to gauge demand for funding and technical assistance in South Carolina. If you're thinking about financing a healthy food business, please take a minute to complete our brief survey. 

USC's Center for Research in Nutrition & Health Disparities released their latest policy and practice brief. Learn more about composting and its role in reducing food waste. 
Learn more about the organizations working on behalf of SC farmers to increase the amount of locally sourced produce available to consumers. 

Upcoming Events
July 13, 2017 l Columbia, SC
Don't Waste Food S.C. is a collaborative campaign that is actively bringing together partners from across the public and private sector to help reduce food waste in the state. Register for this free event today!
August 18, 2017 l 9:00am-4:00pm l West Columbia, SC
This free workshop is geared toward young, new, or small scale farmers, but all are welcome to attend. Topics include family finance, business plans, risk management, and applying for financing. 

October 2, 2017 | 8:30AM - 4:30PM | Columbia, SC
The 3rd annual summit will focus on local food policy council development. Session topics include advocacy and policy, community economic development, transportation and food access, and funding healthy food projects.

Since 2004, we have provided 313 loans for $39 million in financing 
that facilitated more  than $246.3 million in community development projects; we 
financed 1,410 housing units, 9 healthy food outlets, 10 community facilities, and 16 
community businesses, creating or retaining 2,896 jobs and providing a safe, 
affordable place to call home for 3,525 individuals and families.