In 2021, two corporate grocery stores closed permanently in Hampton County. Supply chain issues were/are affecting current grocery stores. Hampton County has a population of 18,180 and a Food Insecurity Rate of 16.6%. Adult obesity ranked at 45%. The poverty rate is 19.6%. Chronic health issues such as diabetes and heart disease are rising in Hampton County. Healthy food access was becoming a serious issue.
As a part of Huspah Missionary Baptist Church’s food ministry, FoodShare was established in 2021. This is the first FoodShare hub in the Lowcountry. FoodShare receives 8-10 fresh fruits and vegetables from Senn Brothers at the Columbia Farmers Market every other Wednesday. Orders are taken before delivery. Volunteers sort and create a fruit and vegetable 12 X 12 X 12 box for distribution. The cost of the box is $15.00. Seeing the need for healthy fruits and vegetables for lower-income clients, Huspah applied for SNAP benefits in the Fall of 2021. Huspah was authorized to start accepting SNAP benefits in January 2022. SNAP clients may purchase a box for $5.00. A recipe card is provided to educate clients on preparing the box’s contents.
Hampton FoodShare participants have increased their knowledge of access to healthy fruits and vegetables. As of June 1, 2022, 1,370 FoodShare boxes have been distributed to Hampton County citizens. SNAP benefits enable all citizens to purchase a FoodShare box. Each pack holds the potential to feed and educate Hampton County citizens on the nutritional benefits of eating fresh fruits and vegetables. In turn, Hampton County citizens become healthier with improved consumption of fruits and vegetables.
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