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Growing Local SC is focused on building a network of organizations and individuals to support South Carolina in getting food from farms and gardens to the table. The goal of the project is to create a cross-sector local food system network aspiring to cultivate a thriving, equitable, inclusive, resilient, and just food economy providing access to healthy food for all. 


Growing Local SC | Food System Network

Growing Local SC is focused on building a network that supports South Carolina in getting food from farms and gardens to the table. The network is designed to be reflective of South Carolina's local food system which is a complex web of activities involving the production, processing, transport, and consumption of food.










Growing Local SC is a network focused on facilitating collaboration between organizations and individuals actively engaged in supporting South Carolina's Food System. The Network will 1) connect and cultivate South Carolina’s local food economy, 2) develop a plan centered on addressing systemic inequities in the state’s food system, 3) catalyze action to address farmland loss, 4) increase capacity of the local food system, and 5) refine metrics for measuring partnerships.


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This project is supported by funds from the 2021 USDA Regional Food System Partnership Grant

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The project is administered by Wholespire, governed by the South Carolina Food Policy Council, executed and evaluated by contracted project managers (Nikki Seibert Kelley and Alison Pierce), and supported by partners as follows: the SC Department of Agriculture providing financial, programmatic (ACRE), and marketing support; UofSC School of Public Health providing administrative, stakeholder, and food council support; the Rural Resource Coalition as an organizer for gatherings, coordinator of the Local Food Subcommittee, facilitating a farmland working group, and providing engagement to indigenous communities; Bonita Global providing outreach to African American communities; Alianza Latina of the Midlands providing outreach to Latina communities; SC Food Hub Network expanding mid-tier value chains; and SC State University Small Business Development Center and Carolina Farm Stewardship Association providing technical assistance to food and farming businesses. Check out the leadership team profiles below. 


The activities of the network are guided by input gathered at annual meetings and through several stakeholder engagement mechanisms designed to elevate minority voices including the general membership of the South Carolina Food Policy Council and it's committees (interested individuals and organizations are encouraged to apply). The project prioritizes strategies to fill food systems gaps, meet stakeholder needs, and facilitate market opportunities and food access solutions.

Please note the organizations and individuals listed represent the leadership structure built into the grant but the project is committed to continuously expanding the network leadership to include many other food system organizations.

The Structure

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Meet The Team


Florence Anoru

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SC State University | SC Food Policy Council Board Member


LaShauna Austria

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Community Organizer | Project Consultant


Michael Brown

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Roots of Life & Sustaining Way | SC Food Policy Council Board Member

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Bonita Clemons

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Bonita Global LLC

Carrie Draper

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UofSC School of Public Health

Alissa Duncan

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 PAL: Play. Advocate. Live Well! | SC Food Policy Council Board Chair


Guillermo Espinosa

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Central Midlands Council of Government | Alianza Latina of the Midlands | SC Food Policy Council

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Zach Herrnstadt

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UofSC School of Public Health


Phillip Ford

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Wholespire | SC Food Policy Council

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Jim Johnson

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SCSU Small Business Development Center Orangeburg | Midlands Local Food Collaborative

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Ken Harvin

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SC Association of Community Economic Development | Rural Resource Coalition | SC Food Policy Council

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Nikki Seibert Kelley

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Growing Local SC Network Director
| Wit Meets Grit


Matt Kneece

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Carolina Farm Stewardship Association | SC Food Policy Council

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Alison Pierce

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SC Food Hub Network Coordinator

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Meg Stanley

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Miko Pickett

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Pick 42 Foundation | SC Food Policy Council Board Vice Chair

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Kyle Player

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SC Department of Agriculture ACRE Program | SC Food Policy Council Board Member

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Amy Weaver

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UofSC School of Public Health | Food is Medicine Subcommittee

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Ashley Page Bookhart

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UofSC School of Public Health


Gregory Sprouse

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Central Midlands Council of Government


Brian Wheat

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SCSU Small Business Development Center

Growing Local SC builds off of a variety of other collaborations and projects, several of which are listed below.

SC Food Policy council

The SC Food Policy Council strives to advance the production and consumption of healthy foods in South Carolina through education and strategic policy planning. Anyone interested in Food Systems in SC can join as a member for free to stay up to date on Growing Local SC and more.

SC Food Hub Network

A group of established food hubs in SC passionate about cultivating a relationship based food system that provides local farmers with personalized resources and markets while ensuring customers are able to secure source identified food traced from harvest to market.

SC Farmer resource guide

The South Carolina Farmer Resource Guide exists to help farmers in South Carolina find the information, resources, and services necessary to operate their businesses.

SC Local Food System Roadmap

The SC Local Food System Road Map project developed as a tool to help those working in the state’s food system to understand how the state’s food system is changing and know what, where, when, who, and how food is (or is not) getting from “A” to “B”.