As they near the 9th anniversary of the nonprofit urban farm and grocery store, Fresh Future Farm (FFF) today announced plans to expand their vision. The first phase of that expansion is a 20-acre cooperative farm on rural land the organization was able to acquire with an anonymous investment.
“As residents, our commitment to food justice for our North Charleston neighbors has never wavered,” said Germaine Jenkins, co-founder of FFF. “Kickstarter support in 2019 gave us the financial capacity to buy the Success Street property but we couldn’t translate community support into an agreement with the City to close the deal. Those crowdfunding dollars are still in the bank and we hope, with backer support, to apply them to infrastructure needs at the new space.”
The farm, recognized as one of two best in the state by Food and Wine Magazine, has operated under a month-to-month lease since October 2020. A recent plea to North Charleston officials to purchase or receive a longer lease was unsuccessful.
“We [embody] public health in so many ways – the model, the mission, everything about it is public health,” said Tamazha North, Co-Director of Food Systems and Finance.
Over the last 8 ½ years, FFF has operated a sliding scale grocery store that has:
- sold or distributed over 20 tons of groceries
- delivered groceries thirteen times during COVID to 50 households that included fresh produce, value added prepared dishes, basic groceries, hygiene items, PPEs, and later hurricane kits
- supported Chicora/Cherokee residents with over $20,000 in rent and utility mutual aid assistance
- completed a series of virtual STEM lessons in partnership with CCSD’s USDA Farm to School grant
- provided living wage salaries to its leadership team and $15 starting pay to part-time staffers
- utilized National Black Food & Justice Alliance funds to train a cohort of Black farmers and property owners in land stewardship strategies including
- collaborated with Tri-County Play Collaborative to host “Farm Babies” outdoor activities
- leveraged Equitable Food Oriented Development grant funds and technical support to add culturally relevant anti-inflammatory meals and beverages to store inventory
- hosted the first statewide Black Farmers Conferences and sponsored the SC Black Farmers Coalition (currently under new leadership)
- featured in regional and national publications including Essence Magazine, Taste of the South, Country Living Magazine x Carolina Ford interview and commercial
- Next Bite podcast sponsored by Chobani
- Featured on PBS’ Movable Feast, CNN’s United Shades of America and Food Network’s Delicious Miss Brown
“We still have customers, youth interns and team members who rely on us and cannot travel to our rural site,” Adrian Mack, Jr. said. “It will take us years to build the new farm and we plan to keep growing beautiful crops, serving customers and teaching people about food justice until the City decides to take the land back.”
Companies, foundations and individuals interested in supporting the new capital campaign through donations, sponsorship or in-kind gifts can review the list of opportunities on FFF’s website, www.freshfuturefarm.org or contact the team via email.