Food Desert Oasis

 

 

It is hard to believe that December had come and gone. The last few months have flown by in a flurry of activity for everyone. One way or another, everyone was impacted by the floods followed by so many rainy days and high tides. All of us suffered some inconveniences, minor or major, from road closures to loss of homes. However, none as severe as people who lost loved ones and the people who found their lives swept away by the flood. Jobs were lost, homes were lost, and a whole way of life for some was altered irrevocably.

We are a strong, caring community and as we did after Hugo, and as we have done many times before and after, we banded together to help those in need. This newsletter is in honor of the heroes that fed, clothed, and housed the hungry and the homeless. Neighbors held food drives and clothing drives and collected funds to help those in need.

The soup kitchen at Tricounty Family Ministries that normally serves upwards of 1000 meals a week kept their doors open during the flood and depleted their entire store of food and money, feeding the hungry and sheltering the homeless. It was you, and all the other unnamed strangers who were the real heroes. They replenished the food and funds that were so badly needed by Tricounty Family Ministries. The healing process goes on. We, the caring community, will continue to rebuild and repair, not just the material things, but also the very lives of those who have added to the enormous burdens they were already carrying.

November was a busy month for Oasis and for Fields to Families. The one word that best describes this November is “muddy’! We have begun harvesting the sparse produce that was untouched by the damaging river water. ​ ​​

Gleaning activities on those safe fields sometimes did not happen on schedule during October and November because the muddy fields that occurred after rain rendered them too hazardous. Yet we delivered whatever produce we could glean and collected non-perishables, clothing, and other necessary items.

Franke at Seaside, a continuum of care facility conducted a food drive in their active lifestyle community. For one week, Chef Frankie Scavullo asked residents to bring a can of food when they came to meals and give it to their favorite server! At the end of the week, the server with the most cans received a gift card from Franke. Donna Smith and Jessica Brown tied for first place with 65 cans each. Tricounty Family Ministries was the recipient of the 416 pounds of cans collected in the food drive. Collection boxes left in strategic campus locations during the rest of the month yielded another 30 pounds of cans.

The Franke dining room servers, the cheerleaders for the Food Drive and the food the Active Lifesyle Residents donated!

On November 13, Oasis participated in the Day of Caring sponsored by the Trident United Way. Volunteers to glean the fields at Rosebank Farm signed up prior to the occurrence of the flood. Between making the request and the actual execution of the Day of Caring, Rosebank Farm lost 75% of its crops in the flood and had little to glean, and we had 40 enthusiastic volunteers from three local businesses ready for a meaningful farming experience. And they had one indeed! One group from MUSC harvested 615 pounds of greens at Robertsons Home Garden in Wadmalaw and then went on to Rosebank on Johns Island and harvested 105 pounds of green beans that they delivered to Tricounty Family Ministries! Two more teams, one from the Fish and Wildlife Service and the other from the Riverdogs, valiantly worked in the muddy Fields to Families Vegetable Garden in Moncks Corner. They did a major overhaul of beds and prepared the land for winter and spring planting.

We ended the month with a new farm to glean in Bowman, SC. On November 29, together with Fields to Families, we harvested 870 pounds of beautiful tomatoes. Fields to Families distributed half of the harvest to the agencies they serve. OASIS distributed their half of the harvest to two North Charleston establishments that feed the hungry: Tricounty Family Ministries, and the Destiny Café, (known to the public as the Pay-What-You-Can-Café).

 

  
  
We continue to grow. Between January 1 and November 30, 2015, Oasis distributed 16,921 pounds in the North Charleston Food Desert (13537 meals). Together, Fields to Families and Oasis harvested and distributed 64,727 pounds to the shelters and food pantries and soup kitchens they serve (51782 meals) to those who are hungry or food insecure. Together that equates to 65319 meals served.

Our sincere appreciation goes to the volunteers that have supported our efforts to ensure good nutrition and quality of life to so many people in need. The willing hearts, hands and minds that join with us on a consistent basis to lend their talents to our mission to provide fresh wholesome food to those who are not able to provide it for themselves bless us all.
These are the smiles you created with your giving spirit
You, too, can be part of this effort to increase the health and well-being of people in need. By helping others, you are truly helping society to overcome the effects that lack of nutrition has on everyone. Ask us about the many ways you can help to ‘change what is into what it should be’ and by so doing, make this world a happier, healthier place for us all.

Jill and I appreciate so much your many acts of kindness, thoughtfulness, and willingness to lend a helping hand. We could not have touched so many people if your hands were not also reaching out. Our heartfelt appreciation goes out to everyone who has supported us with large contributions of material things or just a small act of kindness and a helping hand makes a difference.

 

Our plans for the year….

1. Gleaning, gleaning and more gleaning – contact Oasis if you are interested in our gleaning dates for the rest of this week! Signed up volunteers will automatically receive notification of all gleanings. Many hands make light work. Come join us at oasis_1@att.net

2. Non-perishable food drives in neighborhoods. Get your neighbors involved in helping to build a healthier society. Get more information at oasis_1@att.net

Come see us at the Health Fair at Franke on Friday January 18, 2015

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