Tracey Pressley has worked in the human services industry for nearly 30 years. “When you see for yourself a person’s actual needs, it’s a whole different ball game and you know what you need to advocate for.” CMD provides healthy food to families with low incomes, senior citizens, and people with disabilities in Williamsburg and surrounding counties. Tracey and her team offer food and other services and refer neighbors to additional resources they may need, like health clinic locations. “Sometimes people have to choose between paying rent, going to the doctor, or having a meal.” Tracey explained that CMD began as a mobile food unit in 2018, then became a non-profit organization and began working with Lowcountry Food Bank as a partner agency. CMD has expanded its space to enable even more service to the community.
“If we serve 350 people, that’s a slow month,” she said. “We have seen attendance pick up significantly since the pandemic emergency benefits stopped. Tracy says that in Williamsburg County, which is very rural overall, “there are only two grocery stores in the whole county. Most of the neighbors who visit us live 20 miles away – the miles add up for people. We have food availability four days a week to provide an opportunity for our neighbors to get healthy food more often and introduce new eating habits. Now our neighbors are looking for us, which is a good thing.”
CMD often has rice, grits, butter, eggs, and lots of milk by the gallon every Wednesday. “We share our food with other LCFB partner agencies within a 15-20-mile radius – they come pick up food and sometimes we have situations where we deliver to them – it’s a matter of talking to each other to make it work. We’re also in the LCFB Retail Program where we partner with Food Lion to obtain a wide variety of food items for our neighbors who need it.”
CMD serves neighbors of all ages, but Tracey says the senior population they serve has risen since the pandemic. “I think once people have been introduced to CMD, they realize we’re here to help, not judge, and that allows them to maintain enough food in their home and that’s a good thing. When they pick up food, they ask if they can come back next week. With us, you come when you need to. We tend to pack enough food to last a family for a month.
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.