Veggie Co-Op brings another option for fresh fruits, vegetables in Edgefield

Stronger Together

EDGEFIELD, S.C. (WJBF) – Twice a month, every month, Coral Street in Edgefield turns into a farmer’s market. “It makes it real convenient,” Andrea DeRemigio told NewsChannel 6’s Shawn Cabbagestalk.

DeRemigio is one of the members of the Edgefield Veggie Co-Op. For her, joining the group just made sense. “Everybody comes together and we go in as a whole​ and purchase bulk vegetables at wholesale price versus retail price. So for 20 bucks per co-op, you get about $40 worth of vegetables,” founder Samantha McClure added.

It’s good food and a good way to take a break from the big box stores. “I love fresh vegetables. I try and eat healthy. Plus with [McClure] going to the market, I can buy extra if I want to and put it in the freezer and save a lot of money rather than going to Walmart,” DeRemigio said.

The idea came after McClure wanted to do more for her community. She was driving all the way to Columbia every other week, looking for fresh fruits and vegetables. “My husband was complaining that, you know, why don’t I just go to the grocery store? Because by the time I drove to Columbia and you factor in gas, it was kind of working out even. So it was like, you know what, let me see if Edgefield wants a Co-Op,” she said.

The Edgefield Co-Op was born. Co-Op days are the first and third Wednesday of the month. The day before, participants will prepay for their shares. “I take their suggestions. I write them down and that is my grocery list. When I go to the state farmer’s market, I can’t get everything on the list, but I try to get what I can and it all depends on prices and availability at the time,” McClure said. “I’ve only had a couple of times when something wasn’t great, but the people we work with in Columbia to get the vegetables usually make it right on the next Co-Op,” she added.

After returning from Columbia or local farms, McClure and her team then begin sorting the products.

That works for Debra Montogomery, too. The Co-Op has helped her put food on the table, especially during the last few months. “Because we were having a hard time finding vegetables and meat during the virus pandemic,” she said.

Each basket, we’re told, will feed a family of four for about seven to ten days.

“COVID took place and people were losing their jobs and finances were getting kind of scarce. We doubled to 60 and our last co-op, the third week of May, we had 70 baskets,” McClure recalled.

It’s another way for McClure to provide options for her community when fresh items are a hot commodity.

If you would like to join, you can pay for your co-op share the following ways:

  • Cash or check (made out to Samantha McClure) dropped off at 245 Coral Street, Edgefield. Please place it in an envelope with your name on it.
  • CashApp $SamanthaMcClure
  • Paypal at https://paypal.me/pools/c/8pvxxDjdLz

Single shares are $20. Participants will need to add an additional $5 to their first co-op order, so the group can purchase two laundry baskets, to use for sorting purposes. One to take home full and one to return empty for the following Co-Op.

Pick-up will be announced after sorting, usually around 3 p.m. Everything will need to be picked up no later than 7:30 p.m at 245 Coral Street, Edgefield.

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