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Charity donating tons of produce to fight hunger in Lowcountry - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

Charity donating tons of produce to fight hunger in Lowcountry

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A local charity is hoping to donate 40 tons of fresh fruit and veggies to families in the Tri-County area.

Now that scheduled cuts to the food stamp program have kicked in, charity leaders say more families will need extra help.

"South Carolina has been ranked number two in the country as far as hunger, so it's a huge problem,” said Fields to Families program manager, Tina Arnold.

Fields to Families is the non-profit organization with the goal of getting healthy food to the community.

The group held an oyster roast Sunday raising money to fight hunger at Bowen’s Island Restaurant.

Arnold said, "Our number one goal is to provide fresh produce for those in need."

Roughly 10 local farms donate that food to the charity, including David Howe's farm Owl’s Nest Plantation in Cross.

"We try to donate anywhere from 5,000 to 10,000 pounds of food a year that go out to help people in the local community,” said Howe.

Fields to Families give all the food away for free to about 10 agencies who feed thousands for no charge.

All of the produce is fresh from the farms.

"Potatoes, squash and tomatoes and cucumbers, mixed greens, collards, watermelons, cantaloupes,” said Howe.

Jim Calhoun, chairman of the board of directors for Fields to Farms says the need for food will increase because of the nationwide funding cut to food stamp benefits.

To help more people, Calhoun says they will try to top last year's total of donating 71,000 pounds of produce.

Calhoun said, "We have set a goal in 2014 of 80,000 pounds. If we can do better than that, given the increase in the need that will certainly be desirable."

The charity is hoping the oyster roast would add thousands of dollars towards their mission to sprout a harvest of nutrition.

Arnold said, "If you don't have your health, you don't have anything. If we can just provide a little extra nutrition instead of a canned meal, then we're really pleased with that.”

Around a thousand people volunteer for the charity. If you would like to join, you can visit the website www.fieldstofamilies.org.

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