Food bank marketing plan helps Lowcountry citizens

By Kathy Woodard

Food bankTo improve the quality of food distributed to low-income families, the Lowcountry Food Bank began a partnership with Clemson's Institute on Family and Neighborhood Life in 2005.

The "Growing Foods Locally" program, piloted in Beaufort County, includes fresh vegetables grown by local farmers on St. Helena's Island. The program promotes both nutrition and economic development by encouraging local food markets, increasing small-scale farm income, and providing healthy food alternatives to Food Bank clients.

This spring, service-learning students from Clemson and Cornell University met with farmers, food bank officials, and retail food executives to develop a marketing plan for the program.

"I think it's valuable for students to get hands-on experience by assisting a group who needs their expertise," said project leader Ken Robinson, a Clemson economist. "Students appreciate the opportunity to work on a real-world problem." The students will present their marketing plan to Food Bank officials in fall 2007.

For information: Ken Robinson, 864-656-1723,