Statewide food network (3).png

CULTIVATING CONNECTIONS

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. 

About

Growing Local SC | Food System Network

 Growing Local SC is an initiative of the SC Food Policy Council focused specifically on getting food from farms and gardens to the table across South Carolina. The network builds off work done to date and 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. All organizations, individuals and businesses working in the local food system are encouraged to get engaged. How? Join the SCFPC, sign-up for one or both of the Local Food Committees (Urban and Rural), subscribe to the newsletter and follow us on Instagram @GrowingLocalSouthCarolina.

 

Necesita ayuda en Español? Email gespinosa@centralmidlands.org 

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

Equity, Inclusion, & Access

Growing Local SC celebrates diversity, equity, and inclusion as central to our mission and affirm solidarity with those individuals and groups most socially vulnerable. We actively disavow all racism, xenophobia, homophobia, sexism, transphobia, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, ageism, classism, ableism, and hate speech or actions that attempt to silence, threaten, and marginalize. As a network focused on cultivating a thriving, equitable, inclusive, resilient, and just food economy providing access to healthy food for all, we must first recognize the historic, ongoing, and systemic role that racism has played in our state. As part of this process, we will work to critically understand and address the culture, systems, policies, institutions, and infrastructure that have created our currently inequitable food system.

 

We recognize that many in the South are uncomfortable acknowledging the history of our region but as so succinctly stated by KJ Kearney during the Inaugural Growing Local SC Food Summit, “Uncomfortable for whom?”. Our network honors the desires of those communities most negatively impacted by systemic racism to dictate what is necessary in the process of creating a truly equitable and just food system. The BIPOC members of Growing Local SC have expressed a clear desire for South Carolina to acknowledge and address the historical trauma caused by the legacies of colonialism and structural violence perpetuated which persist currently. We intend to invite our members on a collective journey through critical self-reflection and empathetic dialogue paired with tools and resources to support the network on a path towards healing and growth.

 

Please join us in this path along the continuum of becoming an anti-racist multicultural organization, a journey on which we know will come with missteps, struggles, and growth as we grow together.

network social media.png

Events Calendar

SAVE THE DATE!
Growing Local SC Food Summit 2022

Growing Local SC Food Summit Logo (3).png
Copy of Conference Sponsors.jpg

Leadership

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 its 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 Growing Local SC Food Summit will be the inaugural meeting for organizations, individuals, farmers, and businesses working in the local food system to gather, connect, learn, and collaborate on building a collaborative network. The event is hosted by SCACED and the Rural Resource Coalition and coordinated by Growing Local SC Food System Network and the SC Food Policy Council 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.

Meet The Team

florence_edited.jpg

Florence Anoru

  • Grey LinkedIn Icon

SC State University | SC Food Policy Council Board Member

lashauna-austria.png

LaShauna Austria

  • Grey LinkedIn Icon

Community Organizer | Project Consultant

bioPic-_0000_MichaelBrown.jpeg

Michael Brown

  • Grey LinkedIn Icon

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

bonita.png

Bonita Clemons

  • Grey LinkedIn Icon

Bonita Global LLC

guillermo.jpeg

Guillermo Espinosa

  • Grey LinkedIn Icon

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

Zachary usc.jpeg

Zach Herrnstadt

  • Grey LinkedIn Icon

UofSC School of Public Health

Matt-Kneece-225x300.jpeg

Matt Kneece

  • Grey LinkedIn Icon

Carolina Farm Stewardship Association | SC Food Policy Council

alison pierce.jpg

Alison Pierce

  • Grey LinkedIn Icon

SC Food Hub Network Coordinator

Meg Stanley (1).jpeg

Meg Stanley

  • Grey LinkedIn Icon

Wholespire

carrie draper.jpeg

Carrie Draper

  • Grey LinkedIn Icon

UofSC School of Public Health

Phillip_Ford.jpeg

Phillip Ford

  • Grey LinkedIn Icon

Wholespire | SC Food Policy Council

jim johnson (1).jpeg

Jim Johnson

  • Grey LinkedIn Icon

SCSU Small Business Development Center Orangeburg | Midlands Local Food Collaborative

miko .jpeg

Miko Pickett

  • Grey LinkedIn Icon

Pick 42 Foundation | SC Food Policy Council Board Vice Chair

a scda headshots 00297.jpg

Kyle Player

  • Grey LinkedIn Icon

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

amy weaver.jpg

Amy Weaver

  • Grey LinkedIn Icon

UofSC School of Public Health | Food is Medicine Subcommittee

alissa.jpeg

Alissa Duncan

  • Grey LinkedIn Icon

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

Ken harvin.jpeg

Ken Harvin

  • Grey LinkedIn Icon

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

Headshot Nikki Seibert Kelley cropped.jpeg

Nikki Seibert Kelley

  • Grey LinkedIn Icon

Growing Local SC Network Director
| Wit Meets Grit

ashley page.jpeg

Ashley Page Bookhart

  • Grey LinkedIn Icon

UofSC School of Public Health

gregory.jpeg

Gregory Sprouse

  • Grey LinkedIn Icon

Central Midlands Council of Government

brian.jpeg

Brian Wheat

  • Grey LinkedIn Icon

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”.