Pee Dee farmers receive a hand in getting produce to restaurants - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Pee Dee farmers receive a hand in getting produce to restaurants and stores

A local group connects farmers with area restaurants. (Source: WMBF News) A local group connects farmers with area restaurants. (Source: WMBF News)

MARION, SC (WMBF) - More of the fruits and vegetables residents enjoy at local restaurants are grown in the Pee Dee.

The Pee Dee Food Hub is based in Marion County and is a service linking local farmers to area restaurants.

Right now, the company works with 24 farmers across the nine counties of the Pee Dee, getting fresh vegetables and fruits to eateries in Florence and Marion, and soon the service will extend into Darlington.

The business model started as an economic development project for Marion County, but quickly grew to help local farmers make more money.

“We are opening new doors that are not necessarily available or hard for them to service,” Pee Dee Food Hub Director Jody Martin said. “We are making it more efficient for them to service those particular markets and every day we are working to open new markets.”

The company added its hope is to connect Pee Dee farmers with coastal restaurants soon.

Right now, the company is starting its Carolina Food Share Program. This allows residents to have local farm-raised produce delivered to homes over the next 10 months.

The company said this is just another way of helping to promote the local economy.

“Working with these farmers, the product that we have today I just picked up. We worked with the farmers to get it in our hands for these restaurants within the last 24 hours, some of it in a lot shorter time frame than that,” Martin said.

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