COLUMBIA — From the field to the table, food distribution in South Carolina was strengthened in 2020. It was due in large part to the South Carolina Food Hub Network. It assisted food distributors in the Palmetto State buy and distribute more than $1.3 million of food grown in South Carolina.
This strengthened local food systems and aided farmers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Food Hub Network staff collaborated with four South Carolina distributors on their successful applications for contracts through the U.S. Department of Agriculture Farmers to Families Food Box program. Distributors bought, boxed and distributed more than $5 million in fresh food, $1.3 million of it from South Carolina farmers.
“The South Carolina Food Hub Network has helped build capacity for the state’s food hubs, ultimately helping farmers grow more and feed more people,” said Commissioner of Agriculture Hugh Weathers. “We’ve supported the Network through our Agribusiness Center for Research and Entrepreneurship (ACRE) and Specialty Crop Block Grants, and so far, it’s been a great investment for South Carolinians.”
Food hubs connect farmers to buyers like restaurants and grocery stores, increasing consumers’ access to local food. Hubs often help identify marketing opportunities and support farmers in crop-planning accordingly, while shouldering some of the burden of marketing and reducing the carbon footprint of buying local through logistics and distribution coordination.
For more information, see South Carolina Department of Ag.