COLUMBIA, S.C. — A new urban farm near The Vista is looking to provide fresh produce to 35 food-insecure communities in Columbia.
According to the USDA, in 2021, 18.5 percent of households in South Carolina experienced low to very low food security. This means had little to no access to fresh fruits and vegetables.
“It's a golden opportunity,” said Robert Percival, co-founder, of the non-profit Living Wright .
At the end of Senate Street, the non-profit sits on about 5 acres of land.
“We feed people, we are caterers, and we decided in 2015 that we wanted to feed people in need," he said.
Providing meals wasn't enough Percival said.
He and his father Dupre started Living Wright and decided to take it a step further. The foundation is making fresh crops available for people in need with a new urban farm.
“We started with one garden bed and all of the garden beds in and around Senate's end are going to be now planted for this purpose,” Percival said.
Right now, the farm is in pieces around 300 Senate St.
The foundation has already started clearing land for crops to go. By spring, the hope is for the farm to expand to the historic Columbia canal.
“We’re going to plant rows of crops from one end to the other,” Percival explained as he talked about the plan for expansion.
The foundation is planning to donate the harvested crops to people who experience food insecurity.
“There are 35 USDA recognized either low income or low access within 8 minutes of driving from Senates end,” Cecelia Lucas Stucker with the Living Wright Foundation said.
Before distribution can happen, the farm is planting herbs, natural repellents, and other plants to prepare the soil for crops to grow.
Once the farm is up and running the foundation plans to add educational workshops to educate the public about the footprint behind the food they eat. Another option they plan to offer is foraging alongside professionals.
The Living Wright Foundation is looking for volunteers to help clear land and plant crops.