Archive for the ‘Making a Difference’ Category

One of our volunteers is making headlines with her continued efforts to turn gardens into food for the hungry.

See the AOL article below.

(Photo from Katie’s Krops website)

Sixth-Grade Philanthropist Offers Grant to Encourage Gardening

Jan 7, 2011 – 11:08 AM

Susanna Baird- Contributor

Sixth-grader Katie Stagliano knows how multiply.

She turned a 40-pound cabbage from her garden into part of a meal for 275 people at a Charleston, S.C., soup kitchen. She turned that single experience into Katie’s Krops, a nonprofit that has grown thousands of pounds of fresh produce for soup kitchens and other organizations helping people in need.

Katie wants children in other states to grow their own philanthropic gardens.

“It is my dream to have a vegetable garden in every state to feed those in need,” she told AOL News. “To make that possible in 2011, I am offering a Katie’s Krops grant.”

Katie’s invited green-thumbed, big-hearted children from 9 to 16 to apply for a gardening grant: up to $400 to start a garden, support from Katie’s Krops, and a digital camera to document their adventures in the soil. The winner must donate 100 percent of their produce proceeds to an organization helping to feed hungry people in their community.

To learn more about the grant, visit KatiesKrops.com.

To read AOL News’ profile of Katie, go to “Sixth-Grader’s Harvest Stocks Food Pantry Shelves.”

As Katie says, “Happy Growing in 2011!”


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In case you haven’t heard, Fields to Families is among the Angels!!

See us on the news and read about us below:

November 17, 2010

South Carolina Secretary of State Mark Hammond Announces Scrooges and Angels for 2010

(Columbia, SC) – South Carolina Secretary of State Mark Hammond announced today the fifteenth-annual Scrooges and Angels for 2010.  The ten Angels were recognized at a press conference and honored with a reception in the Secretary of State’s Office following the announcement.

The Angels honored represent organizations that exemplify charitable giving in South Carolina.  Representatives from all organizations were in attendance to receive a plaque and recognition from Secretary Hammond. The Angels recognized, with the percentage of their program expenses that went toward their program activities, are listed below.  Those recognized are listed in alphabetical order, and are not ranked by the Secretary of State.

Angel Flight Soars, Inc., Atlanta, GA    87.3%
Cheer for Children, Rock Hill, SC    98.2%
Family Promise of Beaufort County, Inc., Beaufort, SC    99.9%
Fields to Families, Ladson, SC    98.5%
Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation, Jacksonville, FL    85.8%
Goodwill Industries of Upstate/Midlands SC, Greenville, SC    92.8%
Horry County Museum Foundation, Conway, SC    99.6%
House of Hope of the Pee Dee, Florence, SC    83.6%
Kiawah Island Natural Habitat Conservancy, Kiawah Island, SC    80.8%
Pets, Inc. of the Midlands, West Columbia, SC    98.7%

The Angels were selected by review of financial reports submitted annually to the Secretary of State’s Office. The following criteria were considered:  the charity must have been established for at least three years; has collected revenue greater than $20,000; 80 percent or more of the revenue must go toward the charities’ program goals; makes good use of volunteer labor; and receives minimal funding in grants.  The panel also sought to showcase charities with different missions, and chose charities across South Carolina and outside the state.

The designation of Scrooge is based upon the charitable organization’s failure to spend a high percentage of their collections on stated program activities and/or use of a high percentage of collections to pay professional solicitors.  The Scrooges chosen, with the percentage of their program expenses that went toward the program activities, are listed below.  Those recognized are listed in alphabetical order, and are not ranked by the Secretary of State.

A Leg to Stand On, New York, NY    34.2%
American Assoc. of State Troopers Scholarship Foundation, Tallahassee, FL    34.4%
American Association of the Deaf-Blind, Silver Spring, MD    20.3%
Autism Spectrum Disorder Foundation, Inc., Schererville, IN    35.8%
Disabled Veterans National Foundation, Washington, DC    37.0%
Firefighters Support Foundation, Inc., Greenfield, MA    7.5%
National Cancer Assistance Foundation, Sarasota, FL    11.7%
National Veterans Service Fund, Inc., Darien, CT    17.5%
Parkinson Research Foundation, Inc., Sarasota, FL    25.3%
Project Cure, Inc., Bradenton, FL    22.7%

The Scrooges were selected by review of financial reports submitted annually to the Secretary of State’s Office. The following criteria were considered:  the charity had given 40 percent or less of the revenue to the charities’ program goals; collected revenue greater than $20,000; and spent a large amount of donations on the use of professional fundraisers.

Secretary Hammond issued the following statement: “As Secretary of State, I have the duty of enforcing the Solicitation of Charitable Funds Act, and of protecting the public against “Scrooge” organizations that want to take advantage of our giving spirit. Charitable solicitations across the state have increased in the last three years because more and more people are in need of assistance.  Even though times are tough, South Carolinians continue to be some of the most generous people in the nation and always answer the call when it comes to defending and helping the less fortunate.  However, there are those who would take advantage of our generosity.  So I ask that you check out any organization before you contribute your hard-earned money.  Please visit our Website at www.scsos.com; select the Charity Search button to learn the charity’s total revenue, program expenses, total expenses, net assets, and fundraiser costs.  We have even calculated the percentage of total expenses that the charity has devoted to its program services. You can also call our Charities Division at 1-888-CHARITI (242-7484).”

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Purple top turnip from Robertsons first gleaning.

Last week we began our fall gleanings out at the Robertson property and managed to harvest 880 pounds of turnips and greens which was then shared with Florence Crittenton, Star Gospel, Our Lady of Mercy, and the Dream Center. Thanks to our wonderful volunteers helping get fresh vegetables to these great agencies!

For those of you that may have missed our first fall gleaning…this weekend there will be two more opportunities to participate! Fields to Families will be gleaning this Saturday morning and afternoon at two different farms. In the morning we will be out on Wadmalaw harvesting turnips, collards, kale, and cabbage from 9am to 11:30am and then breaking for lunch. Then at 1:30 we will be heading over to Rosebank Farms to harvest peas and eggplant until 4pm.

If you are interested in participating in either or both gleanings, please email info@fieldstofamilies.org for confirmation and directions.

We hope to see you out there!

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photo by Helen Hammond

I must thank Helen Hammond for her serendipitous timing. She called on such a perfect day that I had Jim Richmond on his way to drop off 6,500 lbs of watermelon. In case you didn’t see the article in the Moultrie News, it can be found here.

The Richmond family has been so gracious to make these Charleston Greys available to us and our agencies. This week they have even more, except we need your help to pick them and deliver them! The Richmond’s farm is located at 2620 Harris Town Rd, St. Stephen 29479. We would be welcome to glean Thursday, July 22. Gleaning to commence around 9:00 am.

I would suggest bringing a wagon (from field to vehicle), if you’re able to deliver to some agencies. On your way into town. If you would like to just glean, then I can see if any of our agencies are able to pick-up on-site. The melons are between 8-12 lbs, so they’ll wear on you as time passes. Don’t feel pressured to stay long, just harvest what you are able to. We could use the help to deliver these afterwards. Email christina [at] fieldstofamilies [dot] org, if you can help. Keep in mind that watermelons grow on the vine so you may want to pack a box cutter, long sleeves, a hat, and maybe some gloves. Stay hydrated, pack ice water!

We are so grateful for the support and commitment to service each and every one of you give. It’s truly a blessing to see how much of an impact we render in our community.

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We are so pleased to have Whole Foods Market of Mt. Pleasant as our Harvest-level sponsor. It is with their generous support that we continue to serve our mission of easing hunger in the Lowcountry!

We  asked Pam Fischette, Marketing Team Leader, Whole Foods Market of Mt. Pleasant to share a little about what makes her store unique in our most recent newsletter:

By Pam Fischette

Whole Foods Market Mt Pleasant is a neighborhood gathering place that reflects the unique community where we’re located. As the world’s leading natural and organic grocer, we’re the place to go to discover what’s new and fabulous in food and wellness. Our store is full of colorful heaps of produce, pristine sustainably sourced seafood, cut to order flavorful meats from humanely raised farm animals, hundreds of artisan cheeses, fresh baked hearth breads, cookies pies & cakes, fine wines & beers and prepared foods ready to go created by our in-house chefs.

The heart of our store is our Grocery Department full of great foods to fill your pantry & fridge – from everyday staples to gluten-fee foods to frozen convenience. Plus there’s pet food and eco-friendly cleaning & paper goods. The best thing about shopping with us is that we’ve done the label reading for you. The products we offer must meet our strict Quality Standards, so that you can shop our store with confidence:

  • We carefully evaluate each & every product we sell.
  • We feature foods that are free from artificial preservatives, colors flavors, sweeteners & hydrogenated fats.
  • We are passionate about great tasting food & sharing it with others.
  • We are committed to foods that are fresh, wholesome & safe to eat.
  • We seek out & promote organically grown foods.
  • We provide food & nutritional products that support health & well-being.

Sign up for our e-newsletters to find out about the latest Whole Foods Market news, store specials, great recipes, new product updates and more at www.wholefoodsmarket.com/newsletters.net.

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This week, I was invited to speak at some awesome organizations and share the Fields to Families story with a new audience. Before I really get into some of the awesome places I have been, I’d like to leave this personal anecdote with you. Yesterday, I shared a sandwich with my little brother, he’s 8, and I had it filled with all of the veggies possible. He’s kind of picky, so I waited for him to pick somethings out, but he has come to find that it’s much easier to eat something than picking it out — especially as tedious as sandwich accouterments!

As he is munching on this spectacular sammy, from Publix might I add, he says, “Did you hear that?” I said, “What are you talking about? The crunch?” His response was, “Yeah!” I shared that with my friends and one replied, “Crunchy veggies, the way they are meant to be eaten.” It’s a simple moment, but a marvel because we take these moments for granted. Kids do not think twice about what they are eating and are more often, than naught, stuffing their face with whatever is placed in front of them while watching TV in the kitchen. Parents, guardians, babysitters, nannies, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and siblings: We are very responsible for this. Lead by example and make a difference.

Monday at Girl Scouts of Eastern South Carolina

I was able to introduce Fields to Families to girls from different troops. Together we brainstormed all of the many opportunities to work together. They have a tough decision ahead of them when it’s time to pick a Take Action project. We highlighted nutrition and ways to get in the community and ways to get our hands dirty.

On Tuesday, I spent the morning at the Kids Alive Summer Camp, on 1 Cooper St. There the kids were learning about staying healthy and preventing diabetes. I must say how impressed I was of their facility, it used to be an old incinerator for the Cigar Factory, and now it fuels dreams! I spoke to 3 groups, about 60 kids, and rewarded them with silly bands and coloring books. We talked about what was nutritious and where some fresh foods are. Surprisingly, many were not aware of the Farmer’s Market on Saturday in Marion Square. They gave me more ideas on how to spread the F2F message and were enthusiastic to talk about their favorite summer fruits and veggies 🙂 It took us awhile to identify things they liked to eat and finding some healthier options. I told them as a rule, anything that makes your hands greasy is probably not healthy. Once we got on the right track, they were telling me about their home gardens and the garden they are planting at the 1 Cooper location.

Phyllis and I, along with Amy Dabbs from the Clemson Extension, were able to visit with the Junior League of Charleston as well. We have prefaced some needs in our gardens and will be kicking off a community partnership with them very soon. There are so many exciting things to come and a plethora of opportunities that await us. We hope you’ll join us as we grow!

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Friday, June 17 at 9:00 am

Flickr User: Erik K Veland

David Howe says this may be the last time to glean this field for donation. We are going to pick the last bit of squash of the summer and we need your help! There are some tips and better directions below. I know some people had some difficulty getting there before, but I’ll include landmarks. You can call (843) 606-0265 if you get lost, I’ll talk you through it 🙂

Here are the best directions to Owl’s Nest. It takes about an hour from Mount Pleasant and 35-40 minutes from North Charleston and about a 20 minute drive off the interstate.

  • I-26 West to exit 187
  • Off the ramp at exit 187, take a right on Old Gillard Rd.
  • Drive past the MacDougal Correctional Facility for about 1 mi.
  • Turn right at first paved road after MacDougal: Hwy 27 – Mudville Rd.
  • At the end of Mudville Rd, turn left at Hwy 176 – State Rd.
  • Take your first right on Poplar Hill Rd.
  • At the 4-way intersection, Hwy 311 runs left to right, go STRAIGHT at the stop sign, across Hwy 311
  • Drive for 2 miles, and look for a black mailbox that is labeled Owl’s Nest Farms

Email christina [at] fieldstofamilies [dot] org, if you would like to join us.

Here is what I learned from my first experience of harvesting squash:

-Wear long sleeved, loose-fitting shirts: Many of the vines and squash have some pricklies (not thorn-like), but they do itch when you wash off and can irritate your skin. I wore my brother’s Columbia/PFG fishing shirt since it was light and blocked the sun, but also protected me while picking the vegetables.

-Wear long, loose-fitting pants: Same reasons as above, esp since you’ll be carrying milk crates full of squash to the end of the bins at the end.

-Closed-toed shoes and a hat


-Always wear sunscreen + maybe step it up with some bug spray. This is an organic property, but you’ll get used to it :)

-If you have a box cutter that’s how we harvest off the plant, some stems are thicker than others, but TJ will have some on-site.

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