With grant assistance from The Dairy Alliance, several schools in School District Five of Lexington & Richland Counties received “Breakfast on the Go” carts, as well as milk dispensers to install in their cafeterias.

Director of Student Nutrition for School District Five, Todd Bedenbaugh, said, “The goal of the grant is to reduce waste and hopefully increase milk consumption among students. The school will start using washable cups instead and stop using milk cartons.”

The Dairy Alliance equipment grant awarded two milk dispensers to the district, which have been installed at Spring Hill High School.

“I am excited that Spring Hill High School gets to be a part of this initiative,” said Spring Hill High principal Dr. Michael Lofton. “It is so important to reduce waste and be environmentally friendly, especially since students in our Environmental Science Academy research and study the effects of waste on our planet. The milk dispensers also increase choice options in our cafeteria and this always excites our students.”

The Dairy Alliance reports that milk is an excellent source of calcium for a student’s body, because it contains vitamin D, which helps to absorb this mineral. When the body is given the proper amount of calcium, it will aid in the development of healthy, strong bones.

The Dairy Alliance also awarded a second grant to the district Student Nutrition department providing a milk box featuring fun cow graphics at Nursery Road Elementary Arts Magnet to encourage students to choose milk as a healthy option.

Nursery Road Elementary principal Love Ligons said, “Our students are already taking notice of the new milk box! I heard from one student that “there was a cow in the cafeteria!” As an Arts magnet, the cow print design is a great addition to our cafeteria and a wonderful way for students to make connections in the classroom and community about the importance of drinking milk.”

The district also practices offer vs. serve, which also reduces food waste and gives students the opportunity to pick up their favorite foods through the implementation of the “Breakfast on the Go” cart.

With the addition of four new grab and go breakfast carts this school year, Irmo High School, Chapin Intermediate, Chapin Middle School and Spring Hill High School will be able to provide different choices to eat, when they want to eat if not hungry first thing in the morning or would prefer socializing with their friends.

“Considering the size of our campus, our Breakfast on the Go option allows our students to save travel time to the cafeteria and still have delicious and nutritious choices each day,” said Irmo High principal Dr. Hardy. “We understand the busyness of the morning rush at times for our students, the “Breakfast on the Go” carts provide a great deal of convenience when students are coming from early morning practice or school activities, while also ensuring their focus and energy in the classroom.”

The School District Five Student Nutrition department serves approximately 13,000 meals a day district-wide.

“In total this school year, School District Five of Lexington and Richland Counties has been awarded $19,450 from The Dairy Alliance in efforts to promote dairy foods that offer protein, calcium and other essential nutrients children need to grow strong and maintain focus in the classroom,” said Bedenbaugh.

The Dairy Alliance is a nonprofit funded by dairy farm families of the Southeast. They work diligently with dairy farmers, schools, health professionals to promote dairy foods and knowledge about the dairy industry.  

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