What wonderful weather we had these last few weeks as we celebrated our holidays and the end of 2016. While we enjoyed the warmer weather of the Lowcountry, many of our friends around the United States were not so lucky. We wish them happier and sunnier days than what the Midwest experienced the last part of December. We hope 2016 will be kinder to those of us, especially the farmers in the Lowcountry that suffered first the drought and then the heat and finally the floods that swept away all the familiar rituals of seasons of the soil that had been practiced for generations. Like those who had dramatic life changes, we are all starting again in what we hope will be a year of peace, tranquility, good crops and an abundance of all that is good in life for everyone.
Despite all the hardships of cold, heat, too much wind, not enough water, too much water and for all of us, too little time, 2015 was a very productive year! 22.6%, 15778 pounds of the 69770 pound total that Fields to Families reported for 2015 was harvested and distributed by OASIS in the North Charleston Food Desert. We also harvested an additional 1368 pounds that we used to support the Destiny Café (the Pay as You Can Café) and the new farm called the Fresh Future Farm, both in North Charleston. The Farm is a new concept that Germaine Jenkins has spearheaded and a huge assed in the North Charleston Food Desert. It helps the residents of the food desert purchase farm fresh vegetables at low cost.
#1 = Harvested and distributed by Fields to Families
#2 = Harvested and distributed by OASIS
#3 = Harvested and distributed by OASIs for Destiny Café and Fresh Future Farms
Oasis harvested and distributed 15778 pounds and an additional 1363 pounds for a total of 17146 pounds of produce! Half of what was harvested, 51%, went to families with children via the City of North Charleston through their subsidized after school and camp programs for children. It was also distributed to the elderly in nursing homes where there were no resources for fresh vegetables. 31% went to Tricounty Family Ministries; 9% went to Fields to Families agencies; 1% went to Shield Ministries, a men’s shelter in North Charleston; and the remainder to Oasis’s special programs, Destiny Café received 7.5% and Fresh FutureFarms received .5%. We so much appreciate your support. This is represents YOUR hard work and dedication.
#1 City of North Charleston 8670 pounds
#2 Tricounty Family Ministries 5229 pounds
#3 Fields to Families Agencies 1543 pounds
#4 Shield Ministries 204 pounds
#5 Destiny Café 1268 pounds
#6 Fresh Future Farms 85 pounds
Unfortunately, much of our meager supply of produce had to be redirected due to the flood in October that affected everyone, especially those who were left homeless, without jobs, with only the clothing on their backs, and without support other than what the community donated to them. YOU are the community. If you donated to a food drive, donated clothing, came out to glean, or volunteered your services and by sharing your blessings gave hope to the hopeless, YOU MADE A DIFFERENCE in someone’s life. We thank you for your concern, your efforts and your humanity.
And so we begin anew! We are looking forward to the New Year. Soon, actually this month, those farmers who still have viable farms will be clearing their land to make room for spring crops. You can help them by volunteering when either Oasis or Fields to Families is invited to the farms to do this work. Last minute opportunities will come up anytime, so check your inbox. Registered gleaners will receive information on all coming events We hope you will all come out and help
Our first scheduled gleaning will be Monday, January 18, Martin Luther King Day when we celebrate Dr. King’s dream for all people. It is too early for details, but we expect to be at Rosebank Farm. Please let me know if you can participate. This is an annual event for Oasis, but of course, you will need to sign up on the F2F website
On Friday, January 22, between 9 and noon, Oasis will again be participating in the health fare at Franke. Please look for our table and please take the time to introduce yourself to me! I know so many of you by name and it would be lovely to attach a face to the name!
We have our work cut out for us this year! We hope there will be no storms or disasters to keep us from providing fresh healthy food to those who are not able to procure it for themselves. Thank you so much for helping us to build an OASIS in the North Charleston Food Desert.
Have a happy and healthy new year. Blessings to you all from OASIS!