Wednesday, July 3, 2013
East Cooper Community Outreach (ECCO) installed a walk-in cooler for its free food warehouse. ECCO provides services and programs to more than 4,000 residents in poverty throughout the East Cooper area. The 9-foot x 9-foot walk-in cooler was attained with support from the Charleston Exchange Club, BB&T, Berlin’s Restaurant Supply and Strategic Asset Management.
“Through generous donations we now have a fully operational cooler allowing us to offer a wider variety of fresh produce, dairy and meat products,” said Rachel Vane, director of volunteer engagement, in a news release.
Since 2003, ECCO has been at its current facility on 1145 Six Mile Road that has a 10,000 square foot air conditioned warehouse to keep food and clothing readily available for clients, but has never been able to hold food needing refrigeration.
During the 2012-2013 fiscal year, ECCO received and distributed more than 197,000 pounds of food from the pantry, supplied healthy meals and snacks for clients in education and empowerment classes, and provided almost 400 holiday turkeys to help feed needy East Cooper residents.
Disease prevention and healthy living is critical to a strong community and a significant contributor to wellness is diet. ECCO will be offering more nutritious food options for our clients and increasing the number of low-income families that learn how to have a healthy lifestyle, even on a low budget. The organization also plans to start working more with diabetics living below the poverty line to teach them healthy cooking practices and provide specialized medical attention from our nurse practitioner on-site. Thanks to Lowcountry Food Bank, ECCO offers “Cooking Matters,” a healthy eating class for adults with diabetes that features culinary and nutrition experts.
As part of ECCO’s overall strategic mission to provide comprehensive services for clients that will have a long-term impact and encourage self-reliance, an increased focus on health education has been incorporated into the dental, medical and food programs. East Cooper Community Outreach (ECCO) strives to provide safety net services for low income neighbors while empowering them to create better lives for themselves, their families and their communities.