A women-led produce stand is providing a space for an underserved community to access healthy food and nutritional education.
CHOPS Produce and Cannery, located in Conway, South Carolina, aims to provide fresh fruits and vegetables to its community to alleviate poor health and obesity. The produce stand is an initiative of Palmetto Works Community Development Corporation and run by Executive Director Cheryl Adamson.
“Nutrition has always been my passion,” said Cheryl. “Food is medicine and important. We want to teach people how to heal themselves through their eating. We want to teach people how to heal themselves through food.”
CHOPS offers nutrition classes and food demonstrations to the community to highlight different ways people can develop a healthy eating lifestyle.
The stand was recently awarded $30,000 from South Carolina Community Loan Fund’s statewide Feeding Innovation cohort at its June 2021 Pitch Night finale. Feeding Innovation is a program designed to support entrepreneurs interested in developing a health food business in the food deserts and underserved areas of South Carolina.
CHOPS finished Feeding Innovation with a sound business plan that showed they had a viable path to expanding their services. They showed the judges that a capital award could increase the impact they have on their neighbors’ access to healthy foods as well as local farmers’ ability to sell their crops.
“This award will help us with improving the stand which will allow us to expand our capacity to help the populations that we serve,” says Cheryl.