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School District Five receives grant to help fund Farm to Five: Waste Challenge Project

Irmo, SC 02/02/2021 - Lexington-Richland School District Five’s Student Nutrition Department has received a $5,000 grant to help fund the district’s comprehensive farm to school practices by introducing food waste recycling into the school lunch program.

The Dominion Energy Environmental Stewardship grant will be used towards the Farm to Five: Food Waste Challenge Project that was awarded to School District Five by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm to School Grant in July. Dominion’s grant will be used to purchase containers for food waste collection at the district’s five pilot schools.

"Dominion Energy is committed to helping schools teach the importance of environmental stewardship and sustainability," said Stephanie Jones with Dominion Energy South Carolina’s philanthropy team. "The Farm to Five Food Waste Challenge is a great way for students to learn at an early age how they can play a meaningful part in protecting our planet by reducing food waste at school and at home.”

The project will implement pre and post-consumer food waste recycling at five schools for conversion into compost. The compost will be used in school gardens and farms, including the district’s Agricultural and Biosystems Sciences Program, boosting the production of broccoli currently served in the district’s school lunch program. Surplus compost will be sold with proceeds used to sustain farm to school efforts.

“I would like to convey my deep appreciation and gratitude for the help and contribution that Dominion Energy has provided to assist us with our composting efforts to reduce waste in School District Five,” said Todd Bedenbaugh, School District Five Executive Director of Operation. “I can say with absolute certainty that this project would not be a complete success without their support and assistance.”

Farm to School Grants support a wide range of activities that increase the amount of local foods served in child nutrition programs and teach children about food and agriculture. School District Five is the only school district in the country to receive the Farm to School Grant on three separate occasions.

In all, USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) awarded grants of between $20,000 and $100,000 to projects in 46 states, the District of Columbia, and Guam. Grantees represent the wide diversity of partners involved in farm to school efforts, including agricultural producers, tribal nations, non-profits, state agencies, and schools spanning both rural and urban areas.


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