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Colleton County Clemson Extension Awarded Grant from Walmart

Colleton County Clemson Extension has been very busy this summer helping to educate and nurture the community through partnerships and community collaboration. One specific collaboration came in support of a grant from Walmart. The grant was presented to the local agency by area Walmart Manager, Chris Dodson. The grant from Walmart was received to assist with the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Market for African American Churches, the Mobile Market for subsided housing complexes and Youth Cooking Classes in Colleton and Hampton Counties. Each program aims to impact and improve the overall food security and nutritional education of the community. The grant helped to fund these programs over the summer. “Remaining funds will be used next summer to fund coupon ‘give away’ for produce to families who have not previously used the Mobile Market in an effort to increase participation and to increase how much produce theory can purchase,” said Clemson Extension Agent, Alta Mae Marvin. “The program will benefit participants and increase economic impact of our local farmers,” said Marvin.

The goal of the Mobile Farmers Markets is to increase the accessibility of fresh fruits and vegetables to underserved communities and provide economic growth for participating local farmers. Because of the Mobile Market, families are better able to include healthy meals when fresh fruits and vegetables are readily available, which can lead to a healthier lifestyle. The Mobile Market was started as a project with Eat Smart Move More Colleton County and is continued as part of the Agribusiness objectives of Clemson Extension Agent, Alta Mae Marvin, in partnership with the Colleton County Farmers Market. “The Mobile Market operated 6 locations, 3 on Monday and 3 on Wednesday in June and July reaching 50 to 70 families each week. Thomas Crosby of JC Farms is one of our farmers and Mr. Ben Teasdel is our second participating farmer,” said Marvin.

“In addition to Mobile Market, we offer a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) style market to African American Churches,” says Marvin. To participate in the CSA Families paid $5 each week and a bag of vegetables and fruits were delivered to participating churches where the families pick up their basket each week. “The CSA market was offered at 4 locations in June and July and served 40 families,” said Marvin. Because of additional support and grant funding each CSA Market site was able donate 2 additional bags of fresh produce. Each bag was delivered to a family with special needs such as a death or bereavement in the family or illness. “These bags were given at the discretion of church/site coordinator or minister,” said Marvin.

The Cooking Classes will be a pilot program for youths, to learn how to prepare healthy meals using fresh produce in a crockpot. At the end of the cooking class series each youth will receive a crockpot to take home. The goal of the cooking class is to teach youths to help prepare healthy meals at home for their families.

For more information about Colleton County Clemson Extension Programs contact Clemson Extension Agent, Alta Mae Marvin at 843-549-2595 Ext 126, or visit www.clemson.edu/colleton.

Cokeitha Gaddist (67 Posts)