On Saturday, January 23rd, the Lowcountry Action Committee (LAC) distributed over 500 pounds of food to Eastside community members as part of the organization’s ongoing “freedom bag” initiative. The event, aptly named “Food for Thought,” was held in an effort to provide families in some of Charleston’s most marginalized communities with direct nutritional support and supplemental access to healthy foods.
Organizational representatives set up a table near 46 America Street and welcomed community members who stopped by to collect grocery bags, which included fresh produce from Joseph Fields Farm, staple pantry items, PPE and educational literature. The bags were completely free to the Eastside community, largely in part to donations contributed towards the LAC’s Eastside Community Support Fund on GoFundMe.
As of this publication, the group raised $4,299 of their $6,500 goal, which helps to fund groceries and COVID-19 PPE for Eastside families over the next several months.
“Our goal is to ensure our community members know they have not been left behind," Joshua Parks, co-founder of the Lowcountry Action Committee, said.
"Supportive mutual aid is essential to strengthening communities who have been systematically neglected by the City. Law enforcement, who routinely over-police the area, receive 25% of the City’s budget, while nearly a third of Black Charlestonians and Eastside community members live below the poverty line. Basic needs cannot be met without access to adequate housing, proper transportation, or healthy foods. We aim to address food insecurity directly by supporting the basic needs of our community."
Several community members have contributed to the initiative, and many more are stepping up to support these efforts. So far, contributions have included individual monetary donations, PPE, beef jerky and sticks from The New Primal, canned goods from The Octopus House, monetary and soap donations from Old Whaling Co., storage space and monetary donations from the Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture, and a community-supported raffle hosted by Holy City Vintage Market (the proceeds from which will be donated to the community support fund).
COVID-19 disproportionately impacts vulnerable communities like those living on Charleston’s Eastside. Therefore, it is imperative that these communities are prioritized and protected. Since new COVID-19 variant strains have recently been discovered in South Carolina, LAC will be providing direct, contactless grocery deliveries to Eastside families for the foreseeable future.
Eastside community members and families who would like a grocery bag can sign up via this online form or contact the group at (843) 608-8306.
About the Lowcountry Action Committee
The Lowcountry Action Committee was founded in 2020 and is Black-led grassroots organization dedicated to Black liberation through service, political education, and collective action in the Lowcountry. Learn more at www.lctakesaction.com.