Local educator’s efforts to teach students about nutrition earns him statewide leadership role
Lexington, SC - An educator who has made strides locally to improve students’ understanding of food and nutrition will now be taking on a leadership role at the state level.
Lexington-Richland School District Five Director of Student Nutrition Todd Bedenbaugh has been elected president of the School Nutrition Association of South Carolina. Bedenbaugh will lead the association, made up of more than 1,800 members and participants, during the 2016-17 school year.
During his three-year tenure with District Five, Bedenbaugh has worked to impact student nutrition programs. The district recently was awarded its second consecutive U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm to School grant. Each grant was approximately $100,000.
“The latest grant is a great honor and testimony to the work we’ve done with the first grant in District Five,” Bedenbaugh said. District Five is the only two-time recipient of a grant of this magnitude.
Bedenbaugh also established the first district-operated food truck in South Carolina. The “Pronto Taco” food truck was made possible through a grant from Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina. The food truck provides summer meals for District Five students who might otherwise go without.
Before Bedenbaugh took over the program, the district provided roughly 4,000 summer meals. The summer feeding program has now grown to over 60,000 meals. District Five has also received several grants including the first district in the state to receive the Fuel Up to Play 60 Hometown Grant for $10,000, and several culinary grants for staff training.