Beverly Wilson and Carrie Draper
Beverly Wilson and Carrie Draper are on a mission is to improve South Carolinians’ access to healthy foods. That’s why they founded Food Share in 2015, designed to connect families and communities to healthy, affordable fruits and vegetables by distributing food boxes to pick-up areas across the Midlands, with plans to expand to other parts of the state in the future.
“It’s important that South Carolinians have access to the freshest food, and here it’s coming straight from a local farm in most cases,” said Draper. Most produce in Food Share boxes is sourced from the State Farmers Market, however, a few items are provided from other areas.
Boxes come in two sizes and can be ordered at the main Food Share hub in Columbia or from one of 38 partner organizations and neighborhood coordinators. “It’s really a collective action, and that one of the things that’s so beautiful about Food Shares. We all work together to make this system work.”
Another important feature of the Food Share model is that boxes can be purchased using SNAP benefits. Wilson estimates that 40-50% of boxes are purchased using SNAP benefits. “The goal is to make sure that all communities have access to fresh, affordable food. We believe fresh food is a right,” Wilson said.
Since its founding in 2015, Food Share has packed and distributed 12,395 boxes and 309,000 pounds of produce. Thanks to Wilson and Draper’s leadership, South Carolinians have better access to healthy fruits and vegetables.