Farm partnership an opportunity 'to have a healthier way of life'

Ashley in a garden.
February 27, 2024

Ashley Walker has always been interested in ways to ensure that communities have access to healthy, reliable food. 

Growing up in a rural South Carolina community, she remembers her family’s half-hour drives to the nearest grocery store. When she went to school at South Carolina State University, she spearheaded projects studying campus hunger and rural food deserts

Today, as a Farmer Educator and Wholesale Specialist at the Gullah Farmers Cooperative Association, Ashley’s work is focused on “increasing access to fresh produce for underserved people,” she said.

The network of Gullah Farmers sustainably grow produce on the Sea Islands of South Carolina and along the Gullah Geechee Corridor. In collaboration with the Low Country Food Bank, they are building wholesale markets to support local growers and increase access to fresh fruits and vegetables in rural communities.

“With the work that we're doing, it's giving everyone a chance to have a healthier way of life,” Ashley said. “I believe that access to fresh food is the foundation of equity.”

Low Country is one of many Feeding America network members working to increase access to fresh produce for neighbors facing hunger. Thousands of miles away on Oahu, Hawaii, the Hawaii Food Bank is partnering with a community organization and local farm to provide access to locally-grown fresh produce as well as nutrition education.

Learn more about the intersection between health and hunger and how food is medicine.