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How SC Farm to School Teaches Kids about Food and Ag During COVID

The SC Garden Toolkit is one of many resources available for download at


Hands On

How SC Farm to School Teaches Kids about Food and Ag During COVID

Story by Hannah Arndt

This story appears in the October 15, 2020 issue of the South Carolina Market Bulletin.

October is National Farm to School Month. While COVID-19 has affected the school year, the South Carolina Farm to School program is still underway. School districts across the state have chosen different ways to pursue instruction, with some offering in-person classes, others teaching kids online, and still others blending the two under a hybrid model. Whatever the learning situation, South Carolina Farm to School offers a variety of services and resources to help teachers and parents keep their students engaged, ranging from fun and unique recipes to classroom curriculum and book guides.

“Even though the word ‘school’ is in the program title, there are plenty of activities that can be done at home,” said Farm to School Coordinator LauraKate McAllister. “Parents can download our Garden Toolkit, Certified SC coloring book, Taste Test Guide, and so much more on the Farm to School website.”

Overall, the goal of the South Carolina Farm to School program is to help influence healthy eating habits by increasing access to locally sourced produces, provide opportunities for economic growth, and strengthen communities and relationships.

But just like many other programs, Farm to School has had to adapt as in-person events, school visits, and training sessions continue to be restricted.

One of the major changes to the program this year centers on participation in the annual Make Your Plate SC Grown program. Rather than just celebrating Certified SC produce during one school week, students will be able to submit photos of their taste test plates through the entire month of October. Participants can use the taste test guide to find local and in-season produce to help kids try new food, without creating a ton of food waste.

SC Farm to School is also partnering with South Carolina Farm Bureau’s Ag in the Classroom to provide free annual subscriptions to the Book of the Month program. Every month, Ag in the Classroom makes available a new ag-related book with accompanying activities that meet South Carolina state educational standards. To view more information, subscribe and to view past Books of the Month, please visit

“Farm to School looks a little different this year,” said McAllister. “While we have had to adapt the program to meet guidelines and restrictions set in response to COVID, I am happy to see teachers, schools, and parents utilizing online resources, using gardens for hands-on learning experiences, and making use of outdoor space as vehicles for lessons.”

For more information and to access online resources, please visit

Contact LauraKate McAllister at to learn more about establishing or continuing a Farm to School program.


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