City, Food + Drink

Dishing up FoodShare SC in Columbia, SC

FoodShare SC box | Photo provided

Fresh fruits and vegetables should be available and affordable to everyone, am I right? 

FoodShare South Carolina is working to increase accessibility + affordability of fresh food options to folks in our community through their programs and resources offered throughout the Midlands and South Carolina. 

The organization started in the Midlands in 2015 and has been growing ever since. Just last week, they packed and distributed 778 fresh produce boxes. That’s a lot of food. 

The goal is to provide fresh food options to individuals + families who may not otherwise have access due to lack of available grocery stores or be able to afford it; however, anyone can participate in the program. 

How do they do it? 

The program distributes low-cost, fresh fruits and vegetables to individuals through the main food hub pickup location, partner sites, or by working with volunteers to deliver boxes to those who aren’t able to pick one up. 

Approx. 60% of the boxes are distributed through the help of partner sites. Interested in knowing where the closest location is to you? Check out this map for all the Midlands locations. Don’t see one nearby? Consider signing up your organization for one. Check out those deets here

Midlands partner sites for FoodShare SC 

What’s in the box? 

There are two box options:

📦 Large box

💰$20 

🍎18-22 pounds of food 

📦 Small box

💰$15 

🍎 15-18 pounds of food 

🥦 Both options will include nine-11 types of fruits + veggies and have SNAP/EBT payment options available. 

🗒️ In addition to the food, each box comes with a recipe card that highlights four recipes for how to use the included produce for those times you encounter a vegetable you have never seen before or if you don’t know how to cook an item in the box.

FoodShare SC box | photo provided 

What’s new? 

Recently, the organization was awarded $5.6 million to aid in their effort to expand and bring this resource to other counties over the next five years. Currently, FoodShare SC serves the Midlands + eight other counties. The organization has plans to launch Laurens County next week and a goal of serving eight additional counties by the end of 2021. 

FoodShare SC is also working to simplify its workflow. Currently, the FoodShare hub operates out of multiple locations (office space, packing, and distribution). With the funding, FoodShare SC will be able to renovate a space off of Two Notch Road to combine its current locations + support the increase in demand.

Due to the coronavirus, FoodShare SC is not able to host its Community Cooks classes in the teaching kitchen like before. When the new space opens by the end of May, they will be better equipped to provide more lessons. 

You might wonder why that is important. Part of receiving fresh fruits and vegetables is knowing how to cook them and prevent food waste. FoodShare SC hopes to provide more community opportunities for in-person classes as they continue to expand.

Cooking class with FoodShare SC | photo provided 

Want to get involved? 

Like many nonprofit organizations, FoodShare SC is 100% funded by grants and donations. You can donate here

Volunteers are always needed so consider filling out a volunteer application here. Volunteers help with many aspects of the organization, from packing food boxes, to delivering them to folks, to teaching a cooking class.