In Greenville, South Carolina, Feed & Seed Co. is on a mission to serve farmers and families through a sustainable local food system. Their multi-purpose facility – located in Greenville County’s most food-insecure zip code – acts as a one-stop shop for both food entrepreneurs and shoppers. Through their market, café, crop boxes, food share, local partnerships, and more, they’re keeping producers in business and helping community members access nourishing, affordable products.
In 2017, a $250,000 ARC grant went towards the Feed & Seed’s light processing facility, providing funding to purchase new equipment, including cold-storage capabilities, to make aggregation of local food products more achievable. The equipment also allows the organization to teach job skills and incubate businesses like local farms by adding value to their products and facilitating the use of local foods in new environments. Within the first year of operations, the facility assisted 11 local businesses and created seven new jobs.
In 2022, Feed and Seed launched their Food Innovation Hub to expand their services even further. The Hub includes a market providing both prepared meals and local produce, space for educational classrooms, freezer and refrigerator storage, and a processing warehouse.
“I think the vision of Feed and Seed as a community asset is more than one asset. We’re an asset to the farmers. We’re an asset to the community and access to food…and employment. We have staff that lives in this neighborhood, we’ve got people who shop that live in this neighborhood, two of the three charities we’re working with on sharing that food are literally around the corner.”
Mary Hipp, Board Chair
Local shoppers who are eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) can use their benefits to purchase the food from farmers or entrepreneurs who’ve used Feed & Seed’s facilities. Additionally, Feed & Seed provides food for local after-school programs, ensuring that healthy foods are introduced to young children. This helps parents and guardians feel more comfortable using benefits to purchase fresh foods, as they know their children will enjoy them.
By supporting farmers and food entrepreneurs with the infrastructure to store and sell their products, while offering a space where families can affordably purchase them, Feed & Seed is promoting a vibrant local food economy in Upstate South Carolina. ARC is proud to support their work as they address issues and create jobs and economic opportunities in their growing local food system.