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CareSouth Carolina Partners to Provide and Expand Community Garden in Society Hill

October 12th 2023

SOCIETY HILL, SC –- Recognizing the need in the community, CareSouth Carolina is proud to partner with the community to provide the Society Hill Garden, an initiative dedicated to addressing food deserts and promoting nutrition within the local community.

The Society Hill Garden, which was founded in late September 2022, embarked on its journey with the support of a small grant and a dream of providing more access to fresh fruits and vegetables for the residents of Society Hill.

The heart of the Society Hill Garden is rooted in its mission to provide fresh fruits and vegetables to the residents of Society Hill, a food desert with no access to grocery stores or restaurants. Thanks to the collaboration, the project received a USDA Grant, enabling the acquisition of essential resources, including water access, fencing, and a storage shed. This investment allowed the garden to expand significantly, accommodating twice as many gardeners as it initially started with.

CareSouth Carolina Community Health Educator Christy Beasley, who played a vital role in the project, shared her enthusiasm for the project.

"I felt really good to be able to step in and provide this,” Beasley said. “I worked with Dick Baird, a retired farmer, who has helped bring the project to life. His recent fundraising event was a testament to the community's commitment to this cause.”

The impact of the Society Hill Garden extends beyond the provision of fresh produce. The garden offers a platform for community engagement, encouraging anyone with an interest in gardening to participate at no cost. Additionally, community plant swaps are hosted regularly, fostering a sense of shared ownership and collaboration. With multiple empty beds available, the project emphasizes its commitment to sustainability and long-term impact. Plans are already in motion to further expand the initiative, including the development of a dedicated children's garden and the introduction of beehives and chicken coops.

Beasley emphasized the significance of promoting nutrition as a Community Health Educator.

“I can tell people all day that they should eat fruits and veggies, but if they don't have access, it becomes extremely difficult,” Beasley said.

The Society Hill Garden team recently met with representatives from the USDA on October 5, receiving valuable feedback and ideas for improvement and outreach. The USDA officials expressed their admiration for the project's goals and its positive impact on the community.

CareSouth Carolina is no stranger to community-driven initiatives. They currently operate a garden in Latta, are actively building one in Chesterfield, and have plans to establish similar gardens in McColl and Cheraw, with discussions underway for one in Bennettsville, as well. CareSouth Carolina is dedicated to delivering patient-centered health and life services, with a comprehensive range of healthcare options and support services available to the communities they serve.

CareSouth Carolina is a private, non-profit community health center delivering patient-centered health and life services in the Pee Dee region of South Carolina. CareSouth Carolina operates centers in Bennettsville, Bishopville, Cheraw, Chesterfield, Dillon, Hartsville, Lake View, Latta, McColl and Society Hill.

Services provided by CareSouth Carolina include family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, women's services, OB/GYN, HIV/AIDS primary care, infectious disease primary care, IV therapy, substance abuse prevention, dental, chiropractic services, pharmacy, senior support services, family support services, clinical counseling, laboratory, ultrasound, X-Ray, agricultural worker health services, and veterans choice provider.

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