By Donna Mundy for The Island Connection
Photos by Eileen D’Agostino
On Saturday, March 5, 2016, the Stono Baptist Church parking lot on Main Road, Johns Island was transformed into a produce market. This event, a collaboration of the Lowcountry Food Bank, Stono Baptist Blessing Basket and Sea Islands Hunger Awareness Foundation, provided over 200 families with 4,600 pounds of fresh produce (sweet potatoes, turnips, carrots, canary melons), rice and bread.
Volunteers from The Stono Blessing Basket and Sea Islands Hunger Awareness Foundation provided the “manpower” for this inter-generational event. Youth from Stono Baptist Church assisted with the heavy lifting, carrying bags to the cars for their neighbors who were elderly or disabled, moving vegetable bins and engaging in lively conversations. Young children looked in amazement at the large bins of produce. Their curiosity evident when sampling a delicious canary melon. These few hours brought a very diverse community together to share fellowship as well as food.
The Fresh Produce Distribution is one of the new outreach programs of the Sea Islands Hunger Awareness Foundation (www.fightislandhunger.org). The Sea Islands Hunger Awareness Foundation is a non-profit organization working year round to provide food to residents of all ages who have difficulty providing food for themselves on Johns and Wadmalaw Islands.
From growing nutritious produce to picking up donated food for distribution to preparing meals and delivering food to the elderly, those with disabilities and veterans in their homes, the following groups work to provide those in need a consistent and dependable food source:
• Backpack Buddies of Seabrook
• Hebron Zion Presbyterian Emergency Food Bank
• Holy Spirit Catholic Church Food Pantry (fully funded by Holy Spirit Catholic Church)
• Meals on Wheels (meals to the Sea Islands)
• Our Lady of Mercy Community Outreach Food Pantry
• Rockville Presbyterian Meals on Monday
• Stono Baptist Blessing Basket
• Sweetgrass Garden Co-op
• Wadmalaw Island Community Center
Mark your calendars for these upcoming events:
• Friday, May 13, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Gullah Gala, a reception with hors d’oeuvres and Meet and Greet Artist Mary Whyte and her Johns Island models at The Sandcastle, Kiawah Island. Tickets: $100
• Saturday, May 14 – 3p.m. – 7 p.m. Gullah Celebration at Freshfields Village, Kiawah Island. Admission: $15 adv. /$20 door: (12 yrs. and under are free) Featuring: Lowcountry Voices (gospel choir); Gullah Cuisine; Sweetgrass Baskets; Wine/Beer and Silent Auction items featuring Jewelry, Art and much more!
Tickets and sponsorships as well as volunteer opportunities for the Gullah Gala and Gullah Celebration are available at www.fightislandhunger.org. For more information contact: Shirley Salvo at firstname.lastname@example.org or (843) 709-1406.