The RobinHood Group established FoodShare Union County in June 2021.
During the 2020 and 2021 SCAFM annual meetings and at our most recent board meeting we discussed the importance and need for partnering and collaborating with each other on grant funding opportunities, mentoring new markets and visiting each other’s markets. This year four counties, Greenville, Spartanburg, Union and Williamsburg are partnering with FoodShare SC and local medical facilitators to apply for the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program (GusNIP) grant funding for the Veggie Rx prescription program to combat diabetes in the counties. The RobinHood Group’s local partners include Rebekah’s Harvest, a local nonprofit that has distributed over 10,000 USDA free produce boxes; the Union County Library System, which serves as the local hub for community activity and the Union Medical Center that serves as our medical facility. These organizations are also members of the Union County Public Health Taskforce.
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.