Food & Drink

South Carolina organizations recognized for cultivating a better food system

City Roots, Columbia’s urban farm across from Owens Field, has been recognized in the 2015 Good Food Organization Guide.
City Roots, Columbia’s urban farm across from Owens Field, has been recognized in the 2015 Good Food Organization Guide. File photo/The State

Ten of South Carolina’s food-related non-profits have been recognized in the 2015 Good Food Organization Guide, compiled by the James Beard Foundation and Food Tank.

Representatives from JBF, Food Tank (a think tank focused on feeding the world better) and more than 70 food system experts looked at the work being done nationwide and selected those doing exemplary work in food and agriculture, nutrition and health, hunger and obesity and food justice.

The guide compiles a list of organizations from every state and the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam, so “wherever people live they can find the organizations nearest them that are cultivating a better food system.”

The 10 groups from South Carolina are (alphabetically):

▪ City Roots, an urban farm in downtown Columbia

▪ Eat Smart, Move More South Carolina, advocating healthier food choices in schools

▪ The Generous Garden Project, in Greenville, growing and distributing food to pantries and outreach organizations in the Greenville area

▪ GrowFood Carolina, based in Charleston, providing rural growers with resources such as post-harvest handling, storage and distribution of food to help them improve the quality of the regional food supply; and ensuring local rural lands continue to be used for agricultural purposes.

▪ Lowcountry Food Bank collects, inspects, maintains and distributes otherwise wasted food products from manufacturers, food distributors, supermarkets, wholesalers, the government and farmers. The bank then redistributes the usable food products to relief services throughout 10 coastal counties.

▪ Lowcountry Local First provides resources, training and consumer education for local independent farmers. LLF’s Growing New Farmers Program includes the Dirt Works Incubator Farm, a Land Matching Service, and Certificate in Sustainable Agriculture and Apprenticeship.

▪ Midlands Local Food Collaborative, based in Clemson, provides education, technical and financial assitance and community advocacy to promote sustainable agriculture, land stewardship and equitable food access.

▪ South Carolina Aquarium Good Catch program generates awareness and leads communities in support of healthy fisheries and consumption of responsively harvested seafood.

▪ South Carolina New and Beginning Farmer Program, sponsored by Clemson University, aims to grow the number of people engaged in farming through skills training and educational programming.

▪ South Carolina Organization for Organic Living, based in Greenville, organizes annual organic conferences, manages a small organic farm and provides educational courses on issues such as urban agriculture, permaculture and farming economics.

Compiled by Susan Ardis

The 2015 Good Food Organization Guide will be released at the James Beard Food Conference in New York on Oct. 19 and will be available for download at