Lowcountry Food Bank’s EDI journey began in 2019 through a partnership with the College of Charleston’s Riley Center for Livable Communities. We used data and mapping to identify communities of low food access and high need to distribute our food resources in the most fair and equitable way across the ten counties we serve. We continue to use mapping, along with active participation in trainings, workshops, and additional learning opportunities to expand our knowledge of EDI and what that means to our staff, Board of Directors, Partner Agencies, and the neighbors we serve.

    In 2022, we expanded our EDI efforts in many areas, including

    • Updates of our Recruiting and Hiring Standard Operating Procedure to become more intentional about recruiting candidates from diverse backgrounds, and encouraging those with lived experience to apply for open positions.
    • Analyzed all job descriptions to develop an equitable philosophy on staff positions and pay
    • Provided multiple learning opportunities for staff on EDI issues
    • Practiced intentional inclusion for internal staff events to ensure all employees can participate
    • Participated in the Feeding America cultural assessment pilot
    • Gave staff the opportunity to include pronouns in email signatures, with a link to learn more about inclusivity, and posted “Everyone is Welcome Here” decals at all three regional LCFB food centers
    • Translated client assistance informational materials into Spanish for our neighbors who visit our regional food centers.
    • Participated in Charleston PRIDE parade and made available to all staff information on additional cultural and religious holidays and events.

    In 2023, we focus using an equity lens through which all decisions are made, ensuring our work is delivered in the most fair and equitable manner, including the development of our next multi-year strategic plan. In addition, we will continue to assess how we better engage with our Partner Agencies on EDI and how we should continue to look to our neighbors for their guidance and feedback in our work.

    We remain committed to being an active listener to individuals with lived and living expertise, always learning and acting with intention in our EDI efforts. We continue to foster a work environment where we celebrate our diversity and encourage staff to show up authentically and work to earn the trust of our staff, partners, and the communities we serve.

    This article was originally published in our 2022 Annual Impact Report. 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.