A year later, Mill Community Ministries is trying a new approach. The non-profit that works to mitigate food insecurity and to foster entrepreneurship and community development has grown its scope during the pandemic – collecting and distributing over 500,000 pounds of fresh fruit and vegetables.

Access is one piece of strengthening food security in a community, said Mill Community Ministries executive director, Dan Weidenbenner, but people also need to know how to cook it.

In January, Mill Communities launched Fresh out of the Box with FoodShare, a new kind of cooking show that both explains the importance of healthy food and shows you how to cook it. Each event incorporates a chef, a musical guest and a health expert, to make healthy eating fun and easy. 

It is also free.

The next Fresh Out of the Box virtual cooking event is 8 p.m., Wednesday, March 24, featuring local plant-based chef Dawn Hilton-Williams, Chef Bill Twaler of the Greenville Tech’s Truist Culinary and Hospitality Innovation Center and poet and Kennedy Center Teaching Artist, Glenis Redmond.

Dawn Hilton-Williams shares her passion for plant based eating that tastes good through her business, Herban-Eats, LLC.

Interestingly, the idea for a free event came from one that was not, Weidenbenner said.

Mill Village has found, and continues to find, great success with its Culinary Concert series, which began as a way to build the FoodShareSC program.

The events, which are priced at $150 per two-person meal, and also weave together food and music, have allowed Mill Village to meet the rising need for healthy food during the pandemic through FoodShare. 

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