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CCPL’s Free and Fresh Program Expands to Dart, Otranto Road Libraries

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Charleston County Public Library (CCPL) is expanding its Free and Fresh program to two new branches thanks to funding from Healthy Tri-County. The program will launch at the Otranto Road Library (2261 Otranto Road) and the John L. Dart Library (1067 King Street) on Monday, August 2nd.

The Free and Fresh program, which initially launched at the St. Paul’s Hollywood Library in March, features a refrigerator at each participating branch that is regularly stocked with fresh fruits and vegetables. The free food is accessible to the public during library operating hours with no advance registration or sign up required. Along with free produce, easy recipes and nutrition information are available to patrons who are interested in learning more about using the fresh ingredients.

“Through our fridge at the St. Paul’s Hollywood Library, we have been able to distribute thousands of pounds of free produce to the community, which we hope will contribute to improved health outcomes in that region of the county,” said CCPL Community Engagement Associate Director, Devon Andrews. “We know that food insecurity and health disparities are also prevalent in the downtown and North Charleston communities and we are so grateful to Healthy Tri-County for providing the means to expand this program to those areas.”

Healthy Tri-County (HTC) is a multi-sector regional initiative that works to improve the health and well-being of every person and community within the Tri-County (Berkeley, Charleston, Dorchester) region. Thanks to funding from HTC, the fridges at all three branches will remain stocked with fresh produce for the next six months.

“Healthy Tri-County is committed to finding innovative ways to strengthen health outcomes for all people during these difficult times,” said Renee Linyard-Gary, Trident United Way Health Director. “This partnership means so much to so many and it’s a prime example of how groups across the Tri-County are coming together to be there for people in need by providing healthy alternatives which we hope can lead to a lifetime of healthy food choices.”

Additionally, funding for the refrigerator at the John L. Dart Library was provided by the Joanna Foundation. The Charleston Friends of the Library, Lowcountry Food Bank and Fields to Families have also provided additional support to the program.

The Free and Fresh program further expands CCPL’s efforts to promote food literacy across Charleston County. In partnership with the Lowcountry Food Bank, CCPL has been providing free after school snacks for children at several library branches through the Kids Café program, Charlie Cart cooking programs, and Summer Feeding, which is also in conjunction with a partnership with the Charleston County School District. The library has also partnered with the Lowcountry Food Bank this year to distribute produce at select library locations through pop-up drive-thru events.

For more information about this and other services and programs, visit ccpl.org, contact your local library branch, or connect with the library on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

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