With the departure of big name grocery stores, the area has been declared a food desert – defined by the USDA as a low-income community of at least 500 people and/or at least 33 percent of the census tract’s population residing more than one mile from a supermarket or large grocery store.
By Susan Ardis
Apr 4, 2017
On what was once a vacant lot behind Chicora Graded School – on Success Street – Germaine Jenkins is planting the seeds of hope and sustainability with Fresh Future Farm, a 0.81 acre, no-till organic farm growing fresh fruits and vegetables and providing fresh honey and eggs directly to the community.
Originally from Hartsville, Jenkins came to Charleston by way of Cleveland, where her father had a scholarship to attend school in Ohio. She started attending Johnson & Wales Cooking School in Charleston in 2000 because, she said, “I wanted to learn how to bake bread.”
Shortly after graduating, Jenkins, then a young single mother with two children, took a work-study job prepping meals at her children’s daycare center so she could spend more time with them. Even though she was making a living, Jenkins still needed EBT and SNAP assistance to make ends meet.
“I was good at stretches, but still had to get in line at the food pantry. That’s when I started to grown my own food,” she said. Jenkins does not come from a farming background – she is the first in her family to turn to growing food as a career – and she did that after she turned 30.
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