The Robinhood Group established FoodShare Union in June 2021.
From January to August 2022 FoodShare Union County has sold over 2,000 boxes of fresh, locally grown produce to 175 residents and this is with taking the month of May off to move into our permanent location. Our program purchases most of produce from local farmers, who sell at the Union County Farm & Craft Market, which means we are also increasing the income of small, rural, farmers as well as providing ‘just picked’ items to our neighbors. Items not from local farmers are usually (bananas, apples, oranges, lemons). Most of our customers are SNAP recipients which enables us to help low-income families access fresh produce at a great price. SNAP recipients are able to purchase a small produce box for $5 and large for $10, the statewide Healthy Bucks SNAP Incentive program supplements the $10 balance. Each Fresh Food Box comes with a recipe flyer, on how to use the produce contents that week, in a different and often healthier way, prepared by SNAP-Ed, Elise Ashby or Dilia Mosquera (2022 Teacher of the Year at UCHS). Ms. Mosquera is a native of Colombia and works with us to introduce traditional Colombian dishes (made with local produce) to Union County. Additionally, as we add unfamiliar produce to the boxes, we provide tastings, at the Union Farm & Craft Market, which help our neighbors enjoy new fruits and vegetables, like butternut and spaghetti squashes, pumpkin, eggplant and kiwi.
Another exciting benefit of FoodShare is being able to help our neighbors and family members reduce illnesses. FoodShare South Carolina was awarded a five-year grant to improve South Carolinians’ access to fresh, healthy food as a foundational step to decreasing the impact of diabetes on the state. In Union County with a population is 27,316, the diabetes rate is 12.2%, 47% of adults are classifies as obese and we have a children poverty rate of 32%. In comparison South Carolina’s overall diabetes rate of 8%, 20% adult obesity rate and only 15% of children living in poverty, Union County is falling behind on these key health indicators. FoodShare Union County is providing a great service to the County, an awesome benefit to residents and increasing income for farmers and keeping revenue in the County.
In 2022 FoodShare Union has secured funding to provide Fresh Produce Bags for the UCSD’s 2,000 student households (funding from Executive Director, Elise Ashby); 900 Fresh Produce Bags for low-income residents (funding from Save the Children) and 5,000 Fresh Produce Bags for elderly residents (funding from AARP Community Challenge). Beginning in 2023 FoodShare Union along with FoodShare hubs in Greenville, Spartanburg and Williamsburg partnered with FoodShare SC and local medical facilitators to facilitate the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program (GusNIP) Veggie Rx prescription program to combat diabetes in the participating counties.
Sniff. Point. Cuff.
K9 Officer, Queue, and Sergeant Michael Rainey with Greenville County Sheriff’s Office are heroes once again! The duo just completed another home search of an alleged sex offender as part of Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force. Only the Electronic Detection K9’s snout can smell hidden electronic evidence that proves sex offenders, traffickers, or child pornographers guilty.
The New Electronic Detection K9s are trained to signal officers by pointing their noses at Micro SD cards, thumb drives, hidden cameras, phones, and computers. One device can hold countless images and videos of live children being abused. Founder of Defenders for Children, Toni Clark says, “On average, the K9s locate two electronic devices missed by law enforcement per search. There’s a high probability the evidence located will be needed for prosecution.”
Clark says, “One sexual perpetrator or sex trafficker can abuse nine or more children. Victims’ ages range from babies and up.” It’s extremely important to stop them before they abuse again.
Child pornography is growing at alarming rates. Sergeant Michael Rainey and his team of investigators fight daily to keep children safe. With help from the community, Clark’s goal is to continue to donate K9s to law enforcement agencies in 2022 – 2023. Clark says, “The K9s are a powerful tool needed in every search to help save and protect children while stopping those who are hurting them.
There are currently Six local Electronic Detection K9s just like Queue. While Queue resides in Greenville, his co-partners in crime fighting are spread throughout the state and one in Georgia. K9 Darcy lives in Bryan, GA; K9 Sata in Spartanburg; K9 Oakley in Richland; K9 Spiller in Anderson; K9 Cypher in Charleston. Clark says, “Our Six K9s have located an estimated 540 hidden electronic devices!”
The Seventh Electronic Detection K9 is sponsored by Charter Communications and will be announced later this fall. The new K9 team member will be the FIRST State Level K9 for South Carolina State Law Enforcement to work with Probation, Parole and Pardons. A cocktail party will celebrate the new addition in November. Clarks says, “The dogs we have placed across the state are from the support of the people in the Upstate.” Now, Clark needs help spreading the word across the Nation.
“Defenders On The Road” Taking Our Message Across The Nation
We are excited to launch our new “Defenders On The Road” Program in March 2023, which will deeply impact our community and surrounding areas.
Swamp Rabbit Moving is dedicating 18 to 20 moving trucks to the pilot launch with more trucks coming soon. The trucks will display a full graphic including a QR code leading to a landing page to create awareness, details on how to report abuse and trafficking, encourage more donations and guide victims to receive help. Each truck will display a different impactful image and be seen by millions of eyes per year while on the move across the Southeast. One truck a day can have 30,000 impressions with 98 percent of drivers noticing truck graphics.
How can you help?
“Defenders On The Road” Sponsorship Packages offer a wide variety of visibility opportunities. Packages range to company logos on a truck, and on the QR code landing page. Other packages include sponsorship logos present at the exciting launching event where we display the trucks for the first time, tickets to events, photos with the K9s, and more. “Defenders On The Road” Sponsorship and donations will help fund the placement of additional Electronic Detection K9s.
Graphic Design Contest
The “Defenders On The Road” Program is hosting a graphic design contest that will allow individuals, students and companies to submit powerful graphics and messages to be seen by millions nationwide over the years. A prize will be given to the first and second place winners.
Toni pleads, “It’s time for us to focus on our children.” They need our help more now than ever. South Carolina court cases for sex crimes against children have reached 2,086 child cases vs. 769 adult cases in one year. The conviction rate was as low as 27.8 percent with cases needing more evidence to convict the criminals.
” The most important part of healing our children is preventing it from happening at all”
Scan the QR code within the photo to donate and access the website.
Did You Know?
- Established in 2010, Defenders For Children has donated 98% of all proceeds to our programs
- Electronic Detection K9, Spiller, is named after former Clemson Tigers football player and current Assistant Coach of Running Backs, CJ Spiller. Sponsored By Dabo’s All In Team Foundation.
- Because the traffickers and predators travel, we need to place more K9s in the adjacent states.
- Any donation big or small will have a huge impact on the community and children’s lives
- If the entire cost of a dog ($21,000) is donated, the group or individual can name the dog and leave a lasting legacy behind. This covers the cost of a K9 and training, handler training and, other cost to help with placement.
- The Average K9 works for eight or more years saving children and stopping criminals.
Be a Child’s Hero In Our Community By Donating Today!
Help support Sergeant Michael Rainey and K9 Officer, Queue, along with the rest of the K9 team to continue searching for solid evidence against predators and protect God’s innocent children and take our message across the Nation.
Toni Clark, 1140 Woodruff Rd, Suite 106, P.O. Box 108, Greenville, SC 29607.
Charity Tax ID: 27-3388956