Our mission is to cultivate relationships among South Carolina schools, farmers, and communities, in order to increase the availability of healthy local food for schools, promote agriculture and nutrition education, and to provide experiential learning opportunities for students.
- Helps influence healthy eating habits by increasing access to locally sourced produce
- Provides opportunities for economic growth
- Did you know that $2.16 in economic activity is generated from every $1 spent on local food?*
- Promotes environmental stewardship
- Strengthens community connections and relationships
South Carolina Farm to School originated in 2011 as a two-year project funded from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Since the program began, it has expanded to not only include more funded schools, but also other institutions. In 2015, the umbrella organization South Carolina Farm to Institution was founded to encompass a wide variety of institutional sites beyond preschools and schools.
South Carolina Farm to Institution is a collaborative partnership between the South Carolina Department of Agriculture, South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, South Carolina Department of Education, South Carolina Department of Social Services and Clemson University. The South Carolina Farm to Institution seeks to increase the number of farmers providing locally grown products into institutions, such as schools, child care centers, food banks, hospitals, military installations, and other businesses.
Core goals of South Carolina Farm to Institution include providing education to food service staff on procuring and preparing local products, promoting SC Grown within cafeterias and food service operations, and creating hands-on experiences such as farmers’ markets, community supported agriculture (CSA) programs, and institutional gardens.
South Carolina Farm to Institution supports sites in implementing four components:
- Purchase and serve at least two South Carolina grown products for the on-site cafeteria, canteen, or other on-site food service venue
- Participate as an associate member of the Certified SC Grown program
- Provide education and resources about eating healthy and where to purchase local food
- Establish an on-site fruit or vegetable garden, farmers’ market, or community supported agriculture (CSA) program