On Wednesday, October 14th, Fresh Future Farm will reopen their sliding scale USDA grocery store to the public. The farm closed at the start of the quarantine after emptying its shelves and distributing them to families in the surrounding community.
Since March, the farm has made thirteen deliveries that included fresh produce, value added prepared dishes, PPEs, hurricane kits, and other basic grocery items. The farm was able to offer the groceries at a 100% discount thanks to grants from SVP Charleston, Two Rivers Church, and individual donations. The nonprofit team also supported Chicora/Cherokee residents with over $8,000 in rent and utility assistance through Giving Tuesday Now donations and funding from the Lowcountry Mutual Aid Fund.
“Our mission is to grow the quality of life our neighbors deserve, and we mean it,” said farm co-founder, Germaine Jenkins. “Customers kept telling us they miss the store and look forward to it reopening soon. We pivoted from a paid grocery delivery plan after accessing the physical wear and tear on staff members after the six-month rapid response program.”
Store Manager and CofC Public Health graduate Tamazha Pilson developed safety procedures to protect staff and customers. Each person entering the 2008 Success Street space must wear a mask, maintain at least 6 feet distance, and will not be allowed to enter the building. Instead, the farm team will make outdoor seating available and take orders on the deck while packing bags and taking payments inside the store. Staff will wear masks and keep the store and hands sanitized throughout the day. Fresh Future Farm believes that these precautions are necessary for Chicora/Cherokee residents to retain safe and regular access to affordable, nutrient dense foods throughout the pandemic. Cash, debit and EBT welcome.