In 2018 the South Carolina State Library began a statewide food literacy initiative called SC Read Eat Grow. This project was inspired by the Culinary Literacy Center of the Free Library of Philadelphia and their work with food programs of all types. As a state we struggle with high rates of heart disease and obesity, while at the same time we have a large number of 86 experiencing food insecurity. Although a small number of our public libraries provide programs around a community garden or minimal cooking such as microwaves and blenders, none of the public libraries in South Carolina are currently offering any programs that connected families over food, or addressed food justice, food inequity, or introduces new cultures through the common ground of cooking together. In response to these needs, the State Library made the decision to purchase a Charlie Cart. The Charlie Cart is a mobile kitchen that is being used in a variety of ways to deliver culinary literacy training, assist with nutrition awareness at our SC Plants the Seed events in public libraries, and help library staff with a hands-on approach to STEM learning. The SC State Library would like to purchase a second Charlie Cart that will be circulated among our most 95 public library service areas to provide citizens with accessible information and direct observation of healthy cooking and eating practices. Utilizing this mobile kitchen, public library staff can offer programs that help library patrons learn positive behaviors that will impact their health and that of their families. We will provide training for the public library staff who will be programming with the Charlie Cart, including ServSafe training in correct food handling processes. The Medline Food for Thought nutrition courses and similar trainings will be offered to familiarize library staff and patrons with the National Library of Medicines resources.
South Carolina State Library