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The College of Charleston’s Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture is sponsoring the Stono Park Elementary School “Food Justice Garden,” which will be filled with produce earmarked for the Lowcountry Action Committee’s “Food For Thought” food drive benefiting downtown’s Eastside neighborhood. Volunteers from Avery and the Lowcountry Action Committee will break ground on the garden Friday, a press release said. 

“This initiative will serve as a pilot program for teaching students about growing food and incorporating fresh fruits and vegetables into their diets, as well as the importance of access to healthy foods as a form of social justice,” the press release said. 

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Food For Thought supports “Charleston’s historically Black Eastside community,” according to its GoFundMe page, and the “goal is to provide families with 1,000 Freedom Bags throughout the year 2021 which will include groceries, PPE and supplemental resources to support their well being.” By growing healthy food and vegetables and donating to Food For Thought, the garden hopes to help address the food justice disparities for Black, Brown, poor, working class and other marginalized groups, according to the release. 

On Friday, students from one Stono Park Elementary kindergarten class will plant first seeds and plant starts, which were donated by the MUSC Urban Farm. Time in the Food Justice Garden will be part of the curriculum for the remainder of the school year, and organizers hope to add more food justice gardens throughout the Charleston County School District.

For more information or to contribute to the garden, visit give.cofc.edu/avery