Growing COB’s mission to improve health of low-income households through access to sustainable gardens, fresh food
By SHAKORA BAMBERG T&D Correspondent
Growing Calhoun, Orangeburg, Bamberg believes in tomorrow and is on a mission to improve the health of the community, low-income households and schools through access to sustainable gardens, fresh food and education.
Growing COB was founded in December 2017 when End Child Hunger, a group out of the University of South Carolina Arnold School of Public Health, reached out to leaders in the community to start an Orangeburg chapter. Discussions showed there was an interest in starting a community garden. After meeting for a few months and bringing on new members, the group decided to expand its outreach to Calhoun and Bamberg counties.
One of the group’s projects is the Orangeburg County Community Garden located at South Carolina State University, which opened on Oct. 13, 2018. Every Wednesday, organizers give away free produce from the garden to community members. Jamison’s Pharmacy in Orangeburg serves as the food hub, and hundreds of people show up to get fresh, local produce.
“We started the garden when we were awarded funds from Eat Smart Move More South Carolina from their Let’s Go 3.0 grant in August 2018. We were able to receive funds to start the garden through the Tri-County Health Network and the Regional Medical Center, our fiscal agents,” a press release from Growing COB states.
The staff of Orangeburg County has supported Growing COB through the donation of multiple compost bins and additional resources.
Those who’d like to volunteer in the community garden can sign up at the following link: https://m.signupgenius.com/#!/showSignUp/70a094daaaf28a6ff2-winter
The organization to date has been fortunate to partner with the following:
- Bamberg County Community Rural Art Works League
- Caring Always Matters Foundation
- Clemson Extension
- Eat Smart Move More SC
- Jamison’s Pharmacy
- Orangeburg Consolidated School District 4
- Orangeburg County
- Orangeburg County Library, Orangeburg Branch
- Orangeburg County Soil & Water Conservation District
- South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control
- South Carolina State University, Department of Biological & Physical Sciences, Environmental Action Group
- Small Business Development Center
- Southeastern Housing & Community Development
- Regional Medical Center
- Tri-County Health Network
- USC Arnold School of Public Health
In the past, Growing COB partnered with the Smart Box Food Pantry and Amazing Grace Ministries to distribute water in Denmark. They’ve also held spaghetti dinner fundraisers to help sustain the garden.
To keep up with the organization’s activities, follow Growing COB on Facebook.
To learn more about Growing Calhoun, Orangeburg, Bamberg, visit the website: https://growingcob.wixsite.com/scfoodaccess.
Members of the organization meet monthly at various locations in Calhoun, Orangeburg and Bamberg counties. Those who would like to attend the meetings are asked to email GrowingCOB@gmail.com.