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Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity

Farm to School Updates (2010-2013)

S.C. Farm to SchoolSchools

  • Developed the Farm to School Request for Proposals (RFP) for schools to apply for the Farm to School pilot program and awarded 52 Farm to School grants to 52 schools across South Carolina for the 2011-2012 school year
  • Awarded an additional 37 schools and 9 child care centers Farm to School grants for the 2012-2013 school year
  • Developed school cafeteria recipes using Palmetto Picks for Food Service Managers, consistent with school food service standards
  • Developed and distributed monthly nutrition and agriculture supplemental lessons (k-12) corresponding to South Carolina State Standards to all 52 pilot schools
  • Procured, delivered and implemented materials for 104 school gardens across the state and provided assistance with garden planning, planting, and harvesting at all 52 pilot schools

Farmers

  • Hosted comprehensive Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) training program with North Carolina State University Professor Emeritus, Dr. Lynn Turner and USDA Agricultural Inspector, Jack Dantzler
  • Initiated a revision of the USDA GAP certification process in conjunction with the South Carolina Department of Agriculture to accommodate small farmers
  • Currently working with over 40 South Carolina farmers pursuing and/ or maintaining GAP certification in order to sell directly to schools
  • Ashley Ridge High School became the first school to have their large school garden GAP certified.  They currently sell the produce grown in the school garden directly to the school cafeteria

Distributors

  • Established a Food Distributor pilot program with Grow Food Carolina to encourage food distributors selling to schools to source from South Carolina farmers
  • Coordinated statewide annual Food Distributor training on Farm to School for  almost all major Food Distribution companies across South Carolina

Program- Wide Collaboration

  • The South Carolina Farm to School Program is a collaborative partnership between the South Carolina Department of Health & Environmental Control, South Carolina Department of Agriculture, South Carolina Department of Education & Clemson University
  • Several states have modeled components of their Farm to School programs using South Carolina’s multi-agency collaboration as an example
  • Working with National Farm to School Network and South Carolina MarketMaker partners to develop a Farm to School website application that links local farmers, distributors and schools.  This service is being provided free of charge & South Carolina will be the second state in the US to launch this application
  • Working with Clemson University  to conduct an Economic Impact Analysis of Farm to School and what it could mean for SC Agriculture when more schools participate, as well as incorporating SC commodities beyond fresh produce
  • Working with the Farm to School evaluation team to measure Farm to School outcomes and effectiveness across the state
  • Secured $100,000 grant from the USDA Farm to School Program to be administered by the SC Department of Agriculture

For further information visit the Farm to School website at www.scfarmtoschool.com or contact Holly Harring at (203) 209-8127 or harrinha@dhec.sc.gov.