The mission of South Carolina Farm to Institution is to facilitate the communication, education, and opportunities for farmers, distributors, and institutions to support healthy, locally produced food throughout South Carolina.
- 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
The 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
The South Carolina Farm to Institution Advisory Council is comprised of eleven voting members and the Council makes recommendations regarding the general programming of all South Carolina Farm to Institution initiatives, including but not limited to schools, preschools, food banks, retail, and other institutions. The Advisory Council also assists with seeking grant opportunities, securing legislation, and identifying strategic partnerships. The Advisory Council is an integral part of the expansion and sustainability of farm to institution programming across South Carolina.
Partner Agency Representatives
- Mary Abney-Young, South Carolina Department of Social Services
- Ron Jones, South Carolina Department of Education
- Lori Phillips, South Carolina Department of Health & Environmental Control
- Ansley Rast, South Carolina Department of Agriculture
- Weatherly Thomas, Clemson University
Non-Partner Agency Representatives
- David Anderson, Chernoff Newman
- Lori Anne Carr, Titan Farms
- Robert Davis, South Carolina Department of Commerce
- Douglas Groendyke, Harvest Hope Food Bank
- Gary Prince, Senn Brothers Produce
- Katie Welborn, Carolina Farm Stewardship Association
Ex officio members
- Anna Hartrampf
- Katie Pfeiffer
- Ben Sease
- Susannah Small
- Amy Weaver
South Carolina Farm to Institution is part of the larger nationwide movement.