Last week, we heard from the contestants of Feeding Innovation, our healthy food business plan challenge. The evening showcased innovative solutions that address the lack of access to healthy food in low-income communities throughout the Lowcountry. Here are the four business plans that were presented:

Greening the South: A full-service, community supported agriculture (CSA) initiative that truly represents the meaning of the phrase, farm to table. Business plan: to utilize organic agriculture practices to grow crops that will be made available for purchase in low-income communities through the CSA model.

Fresh Future Farms: Creating access to healthy food is only the first step; it must be followed up with education and further opportunity to learn how to prepare these foods and incorporate them into your daily diet. Business plan: to provide a multi-tier approach to healthy eating in the Chicora-Cherokee community of North Charleston by growing crops on a community farm, providing access with a grocery store, and educating consumers through a community kitchen.

Lowcountry Street Grocery:  Transportation is one of the top barriers to healthy food access. Business plan: to retrofit a vintage school bus with coolers and shelving units to bring the grocery store, filled with produce and meats, directly to the community.

Lowcountry Vegetable Center: This is another innovative approach to addressing the lack of transportation by bringing the food directly to the community. Business plan: to retrofit unused shipping containers to provide fresh, affordable produce; the containers will be stored and utilized at local bus stations. Liberty Hill in North Charleston will serve as the pilot location.

A big congratulations to all of the presenters on a job well done. Your inspiration and innovation is a testament to the commitment of the community to increase access to healthy food.

We will announce the winner of Feeding Innovation during an awards ceremony on May 21, 2014.

All business plans are in the developmental stages and therefore, do not necessarily reflect the final strategy of the entrepreneur nor guarantee the actualization of the project.