Farm to Belly, a partnership of Greenville Health System, Feed and Seed and Head Start, has won the 2018 Dick and Tunky Riley WhatWorksSC Award for Excellence. The Riley Institute at Furman University and South Carolina Future Minds presented the award to Farm to Belly this week during the WhatWorksSC luncheon in Columbia. Former U.S. Secretary of Education and S.C. Gov. Dick Riley presented the award, which is given annually to an education initiative improving the lives of students in South Carolina.
Farm to Belly seeks to prevent childhood obesity, especially in low-income families, by increasing physical activity and healthy eating behaviors in students. The initiative supplies children with fresh fruits and vegetables and recipe kits to encourage family food preparation at home, sets up a market to let children and their families explore and purchase a variety of fruits and vegetables, and implements music and movement in the classroom, according to a news release. Children participating in the initiative also plant and manage a vegetable garden.
As the top award recipient, Farm to Belly received $5,000. In addition, $1,000 was awarded to each of the two finalists — Charleston County School District Summer Teacher Residency, a program designed to recruit and retain highly effective teachers, and South Carolina’s Coalition for Mathematics and Science, a Clemson University-based initiative that serves the whole STEM ecosystem statewide through a variety of programs, according to the release.