FoodShare Berkeley County Increases Online Access to Reduce Food Insecurity

Berkeley County, SC- FoodShare Berkeley County received approval from the USDA Food and Nutrition Service to accept SNAP online for purchases of fruits and vegetables sold through its Fresh Food Box program.

Launched in 2023, FoodShare Berkeley County (powered by Trident United Way) is a member of a state-wide network of FoodShare South Carolina partners operating hubs and distributing Fresh Food Boxes to local communities. FoodShare SC is one of a small number of community-based organizations in the United States selected to participate in the SNAP online purchasing program.

Many communities in South Carolina do not have access or financial resources to eat fresh, healthy foods on a daily basis. Barriers to healthy foods can include geographic location, age, income and the availability of reliable transportation. Without options for fresh, healthy foods, numerous health risks can arise.

One in 10 people in South Carolina (approximately 515,000) face hunger. More than 20% of children live in “food insecure” homes, meaning there isn’t enough food for every family member to lead a healthy life. According to Feeding America, 48.3% of South Carolina households that receive SNAP benefits have children.

By accepting SNAP/EBT benefits, FoodShare SC ensures that recipients can routinely access healthy and affordable food. A 20-pound box, packed with up to 11 varieties of fruits and produce can be purchased for $5 when using SNAP/EBT instead of the base price of $20.

The 2014 Farm Bill laid the groundwork to test the feasibility and implications of allowing vendors to accept SNAP benefits through online transactions, stating “individuals who receive SNAP benefits should have the opportunity to shop for food the same way more and more Americans shop for food – by ordering and paying online.”

“New USDA data indicates that the level of food insecurity in S.C. is higher than the national average,” said FoodShare Interim Executive Director Omme-Salma Rahemtullah. “The ability to order affordable produce online increases the options and access families have for buying nutritious food.”

SNAP participants can learn more about the online ordering process at foodsharesc.org/foodsharesc-snaponline.


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