Creative placemaking non-profit Enough Pie has teamed up with GrowFood Carolina to help Upper Peninsula community members in need of food support during the COVID-19 pandemic. The project, beginning in May 2020, is a weekly produce box program consisting of fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables, intended to fight food insecurity, inspire healthy eating, and encourage the support of local farmers. The program also assists impacted farmers who now have trouble getting their produce to markets. EP and GrowFood Carolina held weekly distributions in May and June of 75 boxes of produce each week at Rosemont, a historic community off Upper King Street, and Bridgeview Village, a low-income apartment complex home to families and youth near Magnolia Cemetery. The program has been graciously extended to December 31st, 2020 to allow for 40 boxes of produce to be distributed each week at Bridgeview Village and Joseph Floyd Manor, which is a public housing facility for elderly and disabled residents of Charleston. In addition to giving away the local produce, the boxes contain recipe and food preparation instructions to encourage recipients to use all the boxes’ contents and no food goes to waste.
While not originally part of Enough Pie’s programming, in direct response to COVID-19, the non-profit shifted gears to help Upper Peninsula neighbors access supplies to meet their needs. GrowFood Carolina secured a federal grant from the USDA Farm to Families Program so that they may fairly and justly compensate all farmers participating in the program to help the community. This funding source came to an end in mid-September, but GrowFood Carolina managed to secure funding to continue the distributions through their Soil to Sustenance Program, which relies on private donations. Having worked together in the past, GrowFood contacted Enough Pie to tap our deeply rooted connections to the families of the Upper Peninsula, and we launched the partnership within a week. Art & Remedies Wellness, another EP partner, has also stepped up to join this collaboration, offering on-site nutrition information, answer questions on food prep, and to provide tasty samples of the various types of produce offered from their brand new wellness bus. As of now, GrowFood Carolina and Enough Pie will provide these produce boxes to neighbors weekly through the end of December 2020. As of the end of September, we have distributed over 1,100 boxes to our neighbors in need.