Today is Food Day 2012, a nationwide celebration and a movement for healthy, affordable, and sustainable food. Created by the Center for Science in the Public Interest in 2011, Food Day addresses issues of health and nutrition, hunger, and agriculture. Its goal is to strengthen and unify the food industry.

Organizations from across the country are sponsoring events as part of Food Day. Locally, there will be food drives, webinars, and cooking demonstrations. The Urban Farm at Mitchell Playground in Charleston will discuss the basics of small-scale farming, and Mayor Summey declared October 24 Food Day in the city of North Charleston. Visit the Food Day website to find an event near you.

This one-day celebration of healthy, affordable, sustainable food is representative of the work that many organizations do year round:

Lowcountry Food Bank: Addresses food insecurities and hunger issues in the 10 coastal counties of South Carolina, and educates the public on the causes and solutions to domestic hunger.

Grow Food Carolina: Provides opportunities to rural farmers that will strengthen and secure the future of a regional food supply and ensure that local rural lands remain in agricultural use. It enables local growers access to local markets (grocery stores and restaurants) by providing logistical and distribution support. Grow Food Carolina was the first food hub in South Carolina.

SC Food Policy Council: A statewide food policy council that works towards the improvement and expansion of healthier and more informed food choices by South Carolinians. The policy is under the umbrella of the SC Department of Agriculture.

The Food Trust: A non-profit organization that works to improve the health of children and adults, promote good nutrition, increase access to nutritious foods, and advocate for better public policy. Their work in Pennsylvania and around the nation serves as an industry model.

SC Community Loan Fund: We recognize that healthy, vibrant communities require more than just housing; they require infrastructure and services to meet the needs of the community. Therefore, we expanded our mission to include healthy food financing. In 2011, we received a $500,000 award from the Healthy Food Financing Initiative to help increase food access to underserved communities across South Carolina. Today, we help finance the construction and rehabilitation of grocery stores, food hubs, and corner stores that serve low to moderate income neighborhoods. We also advocate for the creation of a statewide SC Healthy Food Financing Initiative that would bring together stakeholders and community leaders to address food deserts and food insecurities across our state. We believe that together, we can provide access to healthy, affordable, and sustainable food for all South Carolinians.