Pursuing Excellence for Tomorrow's Challenges
School District Five of Lexington and Richland Counties (LR5) has successfully implemented a sustainable Farm to School (F2S) program, Farm to Five. A model program, Farm to Five expands local food offerings in schools, provides school gardening and experiential learning opportunities, and promotes health and wellness.
LR5’s Director of Student Nutrition, Todd Bedenbaugh, is a huge proponent of farm to school and has worked to change the district’s procurement practices. With his support, cafeterias are now able to offer “local” items produced or grown in South Carolina. These offerings include fluid milk, a poultry product and various fruits and vegetables that are either farm fresh or sourced through a distributor.
Originally, seven schools were selected to pilot Farm to Five. At each school, students established a vegetable garden and gained hands-on experience concerning the cultivation of local produce. In addition, students were encouraged to adopt healthy eating behaviors and increase their consumption of fruits and vegetables with nutrition education, cooking demonstrations and taste tests.
As Farm to Five continues to develop, LR5 hopes to find an improvement in the overall health and well-being of district students, their families and the community.