January 2016

As you know, there is a crisis in South Carolina. More than one million citizens live in food deserts where there is limited or no access to healthy, affordable food. Local economies lose approximately $311 million each year because residents in food deserts must travel to a neighboring town or county to buy groceries. These food deserts can be found in every part of our state.
In 2013, we created a food access task force   to address this crisis with the goal of expanding the availability of nutritious food in South Carolina by developing and equipping food retail and wholesale outlets selling healthy food. In 2015, we advocated for state funding to support the Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI) and made significant progress, securing $250,000 in the state budget for HFFI. Unfortunately, the Governor vetoed the funding in the end, and we were unable to override her veto in the House.
It is a new year and we are getting right back to work on securing state funding for HFFI in the 2016 legislative session. In an effort to keep you informed on HFFI policy updates as well as food access related programs, news, and events taking place throughout the state, we are launching a monthly SC Food Access newsletter. I am delighted to introduce the first edition of this newsletter and hope you will find the content useful.
We encourage you to share the newsletter with anyone who may find it of interest and welcome you to send us feedback or suggested content, including food access related news and events. Thank you for reading and for your ongoing commitment to expanding healthy food access in South Carolina!
In Partnership,
Anna Hamilton Lewin
Chief Operating Officer
2015 Midlands Local Food & Farm Guide
On August 4th, 2014 a network of farm-related agencies called The Midlands Local Food Collaborative hosted The Future of Midlands Farms and Food Summit. Over 100 farmers, Ag educators,... Read More...»
View the full guide here.
For nearly 20 years, the residents of this mostly African American Greensboro community had nowhere to shop for food. They tried to attract a big-box grocery store; when that didn't work, they started their own...Read More ...»
Kresge Arts & Culture, Health teams launch food-oriented grant opportunity
Food-oriented initiatives that contribute to economic revitalization, cultural expression and health in low-income communities are eligible for a new grant opportunity announced by The Kresge Foundation...Read More ...»
The University of South Carolina's Center for Research in Nutrition and Health Disparities supports a Policy and Practice Brief series. The Center was established in 2003 with a mission to create a local, state-wide, national, and global presence. .. Read More...»
$250k USDA grant will help increase SNAP purchases at SC farmers markets
U.S. Department of Agriculture awarded nearly $250,000 to a South Carolina group aiming to help increase the amount of SNAP dollars spent at the farmers markets. Spartanburg's Hub City Farmers'... Read More...»
Upcoming Events
January 11, 2016 l 6:00-8:00pm l Columbia, SC
Midlands Food Alliance hosts a general meeting focusing on Incorporating Food Systems Planning into County Plans. The meeting is a potluck so please bring a dish to share. More Information
January 12, 2016 (Application Deadline) l Spartanburg, SC
SCCLF, SERN and Clemson Agricultural Extension have partnered to sponsor an eight-session workshop to provide entrepreneurs in Spartanburg with the support they need to grow their healthy food business. More Information
January 14, 2016 (Application Deadline) l Orangeburg, SC
SCCLF and partners present an eight-session workshop to provide entrepreneurs in Spartanburg with the support and technical assistance they need to grow their healthy food business. More Information
March 18, 2016 l All Day l Columbia, SC
The 6th Annual Nutrition Symposium will bring together new research on health disparities, social determinants, and nutrition policy that are relevant to the 2015 Dietary Guidelines. More Information

Since 2004, we have provided 275 loans for $22.8 million in f inancing
that facilitated more than $196 million in community development projects; we
financed 1,143 housing units, 3 healthy food outlets, 4 community facilities, and 5
c ommunity businesses, creating or retaining 3,131 jobs and providing a safe,
affordable place to call home for 2,858 individuals and families.