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The BEE Collective Launches Nutritional Pilot Initiative

Prioritizing Black and Brown Birthing Folk in Collaboration with Fresh Future Farm

Charleston, South Carolina – In partnership with Fresh Future Farm (FFF), the Beloved Early Education (BEE) Care Collective secured funding to offer critical, high-quality care from conception to birth and into early stage development. This one-year pilot of the Whole Spectrum Care Plan will provide in-home nutrition education, biweekly “heat n’ eat” meal delivery prepared by Fresh Future Farm, and additional postpartum support.

The BEE Collective Perinatal Nutritional Pilot initiative is made possible by the Roper Saint Francis Physicians Endowment of the Coastal Community Foundation. This initiative will prioritize birthing clients in rural, hard-to-reach regions of the Tri-County, paying special attention to those residing in counties like Berkeley that have been identified as having “low access to maternity care” by the March of Dimes; and counties like Dorchester where the nearest grocery store in some parts of the county is over 20 miles away. The program plans to promote healthy pregnancy outcomes, prevent nutritional deficiencies, and address food insecurity.

Tamazha North, FFF’s Co-Director, Food Systems and Finance says, “The BEE Collective holds invaluable maternal wisdom that will guide them in providing the life-changing care for underserved birthing folks in the Lowcountry. Programs like the Whole Spectrum Care Plan will be the catalyst for addressing the harsh realities of birthing outcomes for Black and Indigenous people. I am so excited about the possibilities of this partnership!”

The BEE Collective proposes a nutrition program for Black, Latina, and Indigenous pregnant women that can have significant value and positive impact on both maternal and fetal health. Black women, particularly in the United States, often face health disparities and a higher risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes compared to other racial and ethnic groups. Nutrition programs tailored to their specific needs can help address some of these disparities and improve health outcomes during pregnancy and beyond. In March 2023 Feeding America published a research study, Map the Meal Gap, that indicates that Black, Native American, and Latino individuals are 2 to over 3 times more likely to live in food insecure households.  In counties where data is available to compare, food insecurity among Black and Latino individuals is higher than among white, non-Hispanic individuals in nearly every case. In some counties Black and Latino individuals experience food insecurity at a rate over 10 times that of white, non-Hispanic individuals. The lack of access to fresh food is a major contributing factor to nutrition.

“Access to nutritious meals during the perinatal period is not just a matter of sustenance; it’s a cornerstone of maternal and infant health,” emphasizes Adrienne Troy-Frazier, co-founder of the The BEE Collective.

“We are deeply grateful to the Roper Saint Francis Physicians Endowment at the Coastal Community Foundation for their generous support, which enables us to seed this pilot program designed to serve perinatal families in our community. Our partnership with Fresh Future Farms underscores the transformative impact of community-based collaboration. Together, we are addressing the alarming reality that many pregnant, birthing and postpartum people in the Tri-County region of South Carolina lack access to healthy food—a disparity linked to adverse birth outcomes such as prematurity and low birth weight. Through our joint efforts, we aim to nourish both bodies and futures, ensuring that every person receives the support they need for a healthy start in life.”

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About Fresh Future Farm

Founded in 2014, Fresh Future Farm addresses health, wealth, and quality of life issues through radical social justice work. The Farm offers grocery services, farm training, micro-entrepreneurship support, and online education and agritourism events. FFF prioritizes neighbors first, keeping money local as possible, sustainability and continuing education. This nonprofit accepts SNAP (EBT) in addition to cash, debit and gift cards. Fresh Future Farm is proud to offer sliding scale pricing for people throughout the Tri-County who qualify for their Neighborhood discount.

For more information about Fresh Future Farm, please visit freshfuturefarm.org.

About The BEE Collective

The mission of the Beloved Early Education and Care Collective is to ensure that every child enters kindergarten socially and emotionally ready to learn, that every pregnant person, parent and early educator has positive well-being and the tools to navigate maternal health and early care systems, that families are resilient, and that our community reduces mental health stigma for all ages.

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