The South Carolina Association for Community Economic Development (SCACED) began its journey in community health programming through the Faith and Food Justice Initiative which began in 2014 to increase access to healthy foods for underserved communities and specifically targeted low-access areas known as “food deserts.” Through a partnership with the Charleston District of the United Methodist Church and the USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service, SCACED helped coordinate a “Faith & Food Justice Summit” in North Charleston, Summerville, and Moncks Corner to provide local residents with the knowledge and resources to develop community gardens in their respective communities. Through this partnership and connections with landowners provided through the Summits, SCACED worked to build or expand six community gardens in the Berkeley-Charleston, Dorchester area. This effort increased the provision of fresh, local produce to underserved communities, supported existing food banks coordinated by participating Methodist Churches, and engaged church congregation, youth, and other community residents in the process of building and maintaining a viable community garden. This effort was the launching point for our Healthy Insights Initiative.
Data for Healthy Insights
Launched in January 2016, Data for Healthy Insights aims to strengthen efforts to combat obesity in South Carolina. A joint partnership between the MITRE Corporation and SCACED supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), the Healthy Insight tool harnesses publicly available sources, “big data”, across multiple sectors to identify communities most in need of access to healthy lifestyle resources and to pinpoint potential opportunities for interventions and investment.
- Use the data analytics tool to select locales for 4 projects to improve access to healthy food in South Carolina
- Conduct community listening sessions in Upstate, Midlands, Pee Dee and Low Country
- Solicit projects to be funded through an RFP process
- Grantees will receive capacity development, monitoring and evaluation