More than 150 individuals from across sectors came together at the River Center at Saluda Shoals Park last week for the 2016 SC Food Access Summit. The second annual summit highlighted efforts that improve access to healthy food for South Carolinians with limited financial resources providing social policy tools, training and action-oriented ideas to educate and organize participants to support local and state efforts to make the food system equitable for all.

The day began with an introduction from the SC Food Access Task Force which included an overview of the recommendations from their newly released food access report update.

The Morning Plenary followed where Mark Winne, Senior Advisor for Center for a Livable Future, explored the root causes of food insecurity, the critical role that public policy plays in building better food system, and the necessity for strong collaborations among organizations, agencies, and businesses.

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Attendees participated in breakout sessions throughout the day ranging in topic from advocacy and policy, farm to institution, transportation and food access, and funding healthy food projects. Presenters included representatives from Feeding America, SC Farm Bureau Federation, Hub City Farmers’ Market, Central Midlands Council of Governments, Food Chain Workers Alliance, and FoodShare SC.

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Anthony Flaccavento, President and Founder of SCALE, Inc., delivered the keynote address over lunch. Flaccavento shared with attendees some lessons learned from his research into creative local food and bottom up economy initiatives, and from first-hand experience as a farmer, consultant, and activist, and offered a framework for how to move forward and better address the root causes of these problems.

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The day was filled with energetic discussions, idea sharing, and networking. The summit ended with a facilitated wrap up by Nikki Seibert Kelley, Founder of Wit Meets Grit, who helped attendees compile and transform ideas from the day into actionable takeaways.

Visit the SC Food Access Task Force Website for more information on the summit as well as links to download the summit presentations, attendee list, program, and more.

View more photos from the event in SCCLF’s 2016 Food Access Summit Facebook album.