Mullins, South Carolina is located within a low-income area of Florence County where the poverty rate hovers around 40% — nearly 7,000 residents. The USDA classifies Mullins as a food desert, which means many families were already lacking access to fresh, healthy, and affordable foods, but COVID-19 made the situation worse.
Marcus Howard, the founder of the Pee Dee Mobile Farmer’s Market (PDMFM), heard about the Rapid Response Grant opportunity and applied for a mini-grant. Within days of applying, he received good news. His food distribution project got funded.
The PDMFM organized a one-day food distribution event targeting seniors, African Americans, single mothers, children, and frontline workers who were struggling to pay for healthy food. Howard leveraged his partnerships with Harvest Hope Food Bank and the Pick 42 Foundation, Inc. to pay for fresh produce to feed families.
“We had about 300 boxes and we had some extra food that we gave out,” Howard said. “The goal is to make sure that we get our folks access to healthy foods. The goal is to go to different communities in Florence, Mullins, Dillon, Cheraw and Bennettsville to help them make the healthy choice the easiest choice.”
Howard said he plans to continue more distributions. To get involved with the Pee Dee Mobile Farmer’s Market or for more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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