By Coleman Tanner, MPH, CHES
Advocacy & Public Policy Manager
Governor Nikki Haley signed the Healthy Food in Schools bill (S484) into law last week, ensuring that all South Carolina school food meet the USDA standards and that schools are held accountable for meeting those standards. Eat Smart Move More SC partners and advocates are celebrating the victory.
Creating healthy school food environments is a primary focus for ESMMSC, and S484 is part of this effort. Moving the bill through the SC Senate and the SC House was a two-year process that required a lot of patience and support from advocates. The SC Senate passed the bill in 2015 with a 39-3 vote. A few weeks ago, the SC House passed the bill with a 76-29 vote.
SC school meal nutrition standards now meet those of the USDA and are regularly updated with the USDA guidelines. This is an important step in creating a healthy school food environment, which is critically important for South Carolina, which has the second highest obesity rate in the nation for youth ages 10-17.
We celebrate with our champions that shared many great success stories of how schools are creating healthy school food environments across the state. Without their phone calls, letters, emails, and in-person visits, ESMMSC could not have been successful. The passage of this bill signifies an increased awareness of the importance of children growing up at a healthy weight.
Thank you to all our champions who used their voices to help make the healthy choice the easy choice.