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Public Health and Sustainability

Major Initiatives

Food Systems Change Initiative

The Food Systems Change Initiative is a multi-­‐agency collaborative directed by Dr. Olivia M.  Thompson  of  the  Riley  Center, with grant funding provided by The Boeing Company.  The  initiative  began  in  2012  as  a Charleston-­‐based farm-­‐to-­‐school program and has since become a statewide effort to increase access to healthful, local foods among food insecure youth in particular. Existing strategies proven to increase local food supply and demand are supported while new strategies are developed, implemented, and scaled in consultation with key stakeholders from a number of agencies across the state. Dr. Thompson and her team are currently working to develop state and local policies and procedures to positively change South Carolina's food system indefinitely. Supporting activities have included constructing and opening two commercial farm kitchens; creating a comprehensive school gardening course for educators, which includes installing physical gardens on school grounds; and creating a skill-­‐based  culinary  training  course  for  school  food  service  professionals.  Watch a video about the Food Systems Change Initiative.

Hunger-Free Summer Hubs Initiative      

The Hunger-Free Summer Hubs Initiative included personnel from the Lowcountry Food Bank, the Mayor Joseph P. Riley Jr. Center for Livable Communities at the College of Charleston, Feeding America, the Family Resiliency Center at the University of Illinois, and AmeriCorps VISTA.  This team was established to conduct a research study to better determine recommendations for increased summer feeding service program participation in the Lowcountry Food Bank’s service area, which includes the following ten coastal counties: Beaufort, Berkeley, Charleston, Colleton, Dorchester, Georgetown, Hampton, Horry, Jasper, and Williamsburg. The Riley Center's Dr. Olivia M. Thompson served as the Project Director, Ms. Elizabeth B. Symon served as the External Evaluator, and Dr. Kendra B. Stewart served as the Senior Advisor.  Review the Hunger-Free Summer Hubs Initiative Technical Report.   

2016 Point-In-Time Report (South Carolina Coalition for Homeless)

Every year, the PIT (Point-in-Time) count is performed as federally mandated by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development for all communities receiving federal funds through the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants Program.  The PIT count takes an unduplicated census of people experiencing homelessness - sheltered or not - on a given night in January and helps communities better understand the magnitude and characteristics of its homeless population.  Dr. Kendra B. Stewart, Riley Center Director, served as the Project Director and Dr. Robert Kahle, Riley Center Assistant Director, authored the report.  Review the 2016 Point-In-Time Report

South Carolina Community Loan Fund Healthy Food Financing Initiative

Coming Soon

Lowcountry Local First Farm Fresh Market Program Initiative

Coming Soon

Tobacco-Free Campus Initiative

The Tobacco-Free Campus Initiative was developed by College of Charleston faculty and staff in collaboration with experts from the Medical University of South Carolina.  Dr. Olivia M. Thompson of the Riley Center secured a grant from the Healthy South Carolina Initiative to fund a tobacco-free campus marketing campaign to support the Initiative.  The Tobacco-Free Campus Initiative policy was implemented in 2014 and remains in effect to date.  Learn more about Tobacco-Free at CofC.