Supporting Our Partner Agencies to Serve Their Lowcountry Communities
In 2021 and 2022, Lowcountry Food Bank (LCFB) has continued to prioritize support of our partner agencies that distribute LCFB-procured food directly to neighbors in their communities. Infrastructure support included supplying large-scale refrigeration, freezers, laptops and tablets, shelving, tents and tables, installation of concrete slabs that enable larger food deliveries, and grant funding to support additional needs.
Improved Access to Nutritious Food in Williamsburg County
With funds from a David and Nicole Tepper Foundation family grant, the Dairy Alliance and the USDA, LCFB began an innovative pilot in 2022 to build a new “Hub and Spoke” model in partnership with CMD’s Pantry (hub) and four Community Pantries (spokes: pantries with fewer current resources) to increase access to nutritious food in Williamsburg County Pilot. Goals include:
- Increase total food pounds and fresh produce and dairy pounds that can be distributed to food-insecure neighbors
- Increase how often CMD’s Pantry and Community Pantry can provide food access
- Convert CMD’s Pantry to offer full food choice to neighbors and pilot a new distribution model that will enables neighbors to go online and pre-order food at a time that works best for them to pick it up.
- Create efficiencies through food-sharing from the Hub to the Spokes
More Innovation Ahead
LCFB is exploring strategies that further develop, replicate and adapt the Hub and Spoke Model to better serve more neighbors:
Capture additional grant funding toward possible expansions in equipment and support to move food from the Hub to the Spokes; for food delivery to neighbors who cannot access a food pantry; partner with a healthcare center to serve patients as determined by their healthcare provider; partner with a local school for direct food delivery for market-style food choice, or directly to families as determined by the school.
Support partner agencies in the southernmost counties we serve to prepare for the new LCFB facility coming to Hampton County with LCFB investment in partner agencies and additional organizations in these southernmost counties for acceptance and distribution of more shelf-stable and perishable food, with the goal of increasing total pounds of food, especially fresh produce, available to neighbors.
Support for a Retail Partner Agency (RPA), an investment that would provide refrigerated vans to rescue food directly from grocery stores for neighbors; the capacity for an RPA to pick up food daily from groceries and deliver it to neighbors while keeping the food at safe temperatures.
The Hub and Spoke Model has significantly increased the total pounds of food available to neighbors in Williamsburg County: From spring 2021 to 2023, the Model brought a 91% increase in total pounds of food distributed. A 220% increase was realized in fresh produce and a 54% increase in dairy products – items that are expensive and difficult to access in portions of Williamsburg County. Accessibility to food became easier for neighbors, realizing a 65% increase in the opportunities to receive food at the Hub and Spoke pantries since their hours and days of operation increased! CMD’s Pantry has transitioned to a full neighbor choice model and has begun offering Order Ahead service, which allows neighbors to select and pre-order the food they want to take home and schedule a pick-up time that is convenient to their work and childcare schedules.
Discover how we are supporting our Partner Agencies to serve their Lowcountry communities. View the full report here.
About the Lowcountry Food Bank: Feed. Advocate. Empower.
The Lowcountry Food Bank serves the 10 coastal counties of South Carolina and distributed more than 39 million pounds of food in 2023. The Lowcountry Food Bank helps fight hunger by distributing food to nearly 230 partner agencies including on-site meal programs, homeless shelters and emergency food pantries. The Lowcountry Food Bank advocates on behalf of those who experience hunger and helps empower people to make healthy and nutritious food choices. For more information, visit the Lowcountry Food Bank website.