Being involved in Active Citizenship and the Center for Civic Engagement, I felt the need to apply for the Active Citizen Grant for The Stone Soup Collective. The purpose of this grant would be aiding The Stone Soup Collective with materials to address food insecurity and undernourishment in the Charleston community.
The College of Charleston and the wider Charleston community are facing serious food insecurity issues. Moreover, even those not facing a shortage of calories are chronically malnourished because the standard American diet is substantially lacking in nutrients, with 85% of American diets lacking in essential vitamins. Frankly, food insecurity is a social justice issue and a form of institutional racism: the majority of the people lacking in essential nutrients are people of color and people in lower socioeconomic classes. The poorest in economic class neighborhoods have easy access to foods lacking in nutrients – that is, junk foods, but not nutrient rich fresh fruit and vegetables.
The problem is acute here: Charleston County is the second largest city in South Carolina in terms of food insecurity rates, with over 800,000 food insecure people in Charleston alone, while 28% of those people being children. Sadly, food insecurity is a serious issue at The College of Charleston as well. in August of 2017, the Riley Center found that approximately 3,375 students at the College are food insecure, meaning that 30% of the student population is struggling to find at least one adequate nutritious meal per day. Most of these students are having to balance going to a prestigious college, while working to afford textbooks and rent each month, and generally resulting to cheap, innutritious food to sate their hunger. “Look at the expenses they have beyond tuition — which is substantial — the price of some of these textbooks,
The goals for this initiative is threefold: First, to inform The College of Charleston community, as well as the Charleston community, about the seriousness of food insecurity among our friends and neighbors. Second, to provide an opportunity for students at The College and Charleston to address the problem of food insecurity and malnourishment (i.e., both access to calories and to nutrients). Third, to inspire students to see themselves as agents of change – people capable of making an important difference on issues they care about. In sum, The Stone Soup Collective and I are aiming to provide a holistic, creative, and tasty solution to the problem of food insecurity, as well as create more active citizens in the community. We aim to empower students and the wider Charleston community to nourish themselves with quality sustainable food and in the process contribute to the creation of a more vibrant and healthy Charleston.
I am glad to announce that The Center for Civic Engagement woud love to partner with The Stone Soup Collective and aid us with this grant!