Access to Healthy Foods

Throughout South Carolina many communities are struggling. The South Carolina Community Loan Fund helps by providing access to capital for the people in these communities, such as:

  • Loans
  • Technical assistance and advocacy for affordable housing
  • Healthy food
  • Community facilities
  • Community business enterprises
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South Carolina Community Loan Fund: Bringing Healthy Choices to Rural SC

16.4 percent of our population doesn't have local, nutritious food. This is 6.4 percent higher than the national average. Our grant, The South Carolina Healthy Food Financing Initiative, provides low-interest loans to support the establishment of additional locations to purchase this type of food. This will increase the availability of healthy foods in rural areas of South Carolina.

The impact of this grant is significant, since 85,000 residents (20 percent of the population) of those counties have low incomes. They also live more than a mile from a grocery store. The Foundation connected this project to another project with Eat Smart, Move More SC. These "Let's Go" counties receive funding to improve access to healthier food and create more opportunities to exercise, which will help lower obesity rates. Two feeding innovation courses that teach about running a small grocery business are scheduled for 2016. They will be offered in Spartanburg and Orangeburg. Five people have enrolled in Spartanburg, and seven are scheduled to participate in Orangeburg.

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Looking Forward

The SC Healthy Food Financing Initiative also approved a $1 million loan to Second Harvest Metrolina Food Bank to expand food bank facilities that support Cherokee, Lancaster, Spartanburg, Union and York counties. In these five counties, the estimated population is 706,000, with 17 percent living at or below the federal poverty line.

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