Volunteer Greg Vanderwerker proudly displays turnips gleaned on Wadmalaw Island

The time for gleaning is here! With the warm weather approaching, many fall and winter crops have begun to flower and we have to harvest them quick.

Our first official gleaning this season will be out atRosebank Farm on Johns Island, this Wednesday, 8:30am-11:00am. Although their stand is being moved, they are still going full steam in the fields. Gleaners will be meeting off of Resurrection Rd. (once on Resurrection, we will be off to the right behind where the stand was). We respectfully request that all volunteers bring gloves, snips/scissors/knives, water, hat, sunscreen and bugspray. 

If possible, please stop at your local grocery store and ask for vegetable boxes. 

Please email Nikki at: info@fieldstofamilies, if you can attend or your agency is interested in picking up produce. 

p.s. If you cannot come out for the gleaning, we will be helping out at the Bogarden on Bogard and Rutledge this Saturday March 5th from 10-2. Volunteers will be cleaning up the lot, weeding, building beds, and painting signs. There will also be another workday on Saturday March 19th to continue the clean-up, plant seedlings, and potential spread mulch. Please join us!

With the weather warming up, Fields to Families is gearing up for Spring. Two weekends ago we were lucky enough to have a group of Junior League volunteers come out to our Moncks Corner Whole Foods Garden to get the beds ready for the season. Board members Phyllis Ford and Jonathan Croft lead the group in the maintenance of the 28 lasagna style beds.

Among the Junior League volunteers that came to the garden was Dr. Jennifer Smith of the Draisin Vision Group. Her office selects two charities every year that they support with funds from client visits and this year, she has selected Fields to Families as one of the recipients!

Please consider visiting the Draisin Vision Group for any of your eye care needs. They are located at 1470 Tobias Gadson Blvd. Suite 115 Charleston, SC 29407. Visit http://www.draisinvision.com/ for more information on their services or call Toll Free: (843) 556-20/20.

Thanks so much to the Junior League and Dr. Jennifer Smith!

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!”

Happy New Year from Fields to Families!

2010 was a great year for our organization and we hope it was a great year for you as well. Looking back on the year we accomplished so much with help from YOU!
With all of your hard work…

  • We continued to collect tens of thousands of pounds of fresh local produce from farms, gardens, and farmers markets.
  • We gained hundreds of new volunteers.
  • We connected with over ten new local food agencies.
  • We watched our Moncks Corner Garden blossom.
  • We hired Nikki Seibert as the new Executive Director.
  • We won the South Carolina Angel Award.

With your support, we could even make City Paper’s Best Local Cause!! Please visit their website http://www.charlestoncitypaper.com/and cast your vote :-). (Also consider voting for our generous sponsors including Whole Foods, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Clawson and Staubes, LLC Attorneys at Law, Dine with Sal, and Blackbaud.)

Looking towards 2011 we hope to continue the successes of 2010 and grow even further. Here is a little sneak peek of what is to come…

  • Updated volunteer database!
  • Charleston CANs program in partnership with Lowcountry Local First, Joanna Foundation, and Lowcountry Food Bank. The program will educate our food agency partners, their clients, the public and youth on proper food handling, storage, preparation, and preservation of fresh produce.
  • Potential new farm property.
  • And more!!

Again, THANKS to all of our volunteers, local farmers, partner agencies, and donors for all of the support needed to make this year a success!

During this time of bounty and celebration, it is important to remember that many of our neighbors are now among the 14 percent of residents in Berkeley, Charleston, and Dorchester counties depending on food assistance programs.

Fields to Families is a nonprofit organization that helps increase nutrition to the area hungry by coordinating the distribution of fresh produce obtained from local gardens, farms, and farmers markets. Facing an increased demand for food assistance, nonprofit organizations rely on Fields to Families to provide fresh fruits and vegetables to feed the hungry. In 2009, with your help, we gathered and donated more than 80,000 pounds of fresh, local produce to those in need and we continue to grow in 2010.

Please give today to help feed the hungry.
Your gift will be used to support our gleaning efforts, which make up the bulk of the produce that we are able to provide for FREE to the 20 nonprofit organizations we serve, including East Cooper Meals on Wheels, Helping Hands of Goose Creek, and Star Gospel Mission. These are nonprofits that many seniors, families and individuals rely on as a vital source of nutrition and sustenance. And, it is provided in a safe environment with a personal touch along with various other services.

What is gleaning?
Gleaning dates back to Biblical times and is considered one of the first forms of welfare. Farmers would leave a little extra of their crops in the field after the harvest for the hungry. With the help of our farm partners and 600 volunteers, we are actively gleaning throughout the Lowcountry, providing fresh food that may have otherwise gone to waste to those who need it most. Just last month, we gleaned thousands of pounds of turnips, kale, collards, mustards, eggplant, beans, rutabega, and cabbage that were delivered to local nonprofits who serve hundreds of people in need.

Fields to Families relies on your donations.

  • A donation of $25 can help coordinate a gleaning or farmers market pickup and delivery that results in hundreds of pounds of produce.
  • A donation of $50 can provide water that gives life to our gardens.
  • A donation of $100 is enough to supply materials for a garden bed in one of our Fields to Families’ gardens that will produce food throughout the year.

When you donate to Fields to Families, you can be confident that your donation will make a difference. We were recently honored by the South Carolina Secretary of State as one of 10 “Angel” charities in South Carolina that puts donors’ money to good use and makes good use of volunteers.

We have all felt the pangs of hunger in between meals. But without the support from people like you, many of our neighbors will go to bed and wake up hungry.

Every gift helps! Please consider donating what you are able to in support of Fields to Families’ mission of easing hunger in the Lowcountry.

Thank you for your support!


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).”

Our Moncks Corner Garden has been a great success thanks to the Shurlknight Family, the Local 4-H, Whole Foods, Junior League and a group of Home Schoolers.

Most recently, we were lucky enough to have a the local 4-H group paint our Food Shed for us, see above. Check out the article in the local paper!