Growing COB partners with Food Share, which helps to purchase additional food beyond what is harvested to add to the food giveaway.
Growing COB was formed about three years ago when two individuals involved in research helping to solve and address food deserts across the state joined together.
“A perfect example is Bowman,” Hardy said. “Bowman does not have a grocery store. Most of Orangeburg, Bamberg and Calhoun are rural. There is not a lot of access. When it comes to diseases, especially for minorities, a lot of it has to do with what you eat.”
“This was birthed to get minorities, especially low-income, access to fresh fruits and vegetables,” she said.
Starting out with two individuals, Growing COB has grown to include over 50 members and a board of five members.
Growing COB has cohorts in Bamberg, Ehrhardt, Denmark and Orangeburg and has already done about seven community gardens, including at RMC and South Carolina State University.
A board member – Nathan Hill – has an in-ground garden. It is COB’s largest garden.
The first grant Growing COB received was courtesy of the Eat Smart and Move More organization. The grant went toward the placement of a garden at S.C. State.
The community garden at The Samaritan House is the latest success story in the shelter’s reopening.