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SC Plants the Seed

| South Carolina

Oct 15, 2018

SC Plants the Seed brings together 4 types of activities:

  • Nutrition education
  • Increasing access to fresh produce
  • USDA Summer Food Service Program
  • Literacy

This program is a collaboration between three organizations. The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control: SNAP-Ed Program, the South Carolina State Library, and the South Carolina Department of Social Services.

Watch a video about Plant the Seed.

The program has impacted the lives of the residents and the patrons of the library in several different SC communities. Local libraries have adopted system and environmental changes in South Carolina. SC Plants the Seeds Program improves access to fresh fruits and vegetables. The program hosts a farm stand. It also gives free nutrition-related books to children to improve literacy. Storytelling and arts and crafts activities reinforce healthy eating. Patrons have the opportunity to purchase produce. The SNAP-Ed Program conducts food demonstrations. SNAP-Ed also makes recipe samples with the farmer’s local produce. 

two girls with tomatoes in front of table of books

The program was implemented along with each library’s summer reading program. The Lee County Library in Bishopville served free meals at each event for children 18 years of age and younger through the USDA Summer Food Service Program.

As the program was started, it was met by glowing reviews from Library staff, farmers, parents, and kids. It is an excellent example of a multi-sector partnership that brings services together. These services came together in a place that makes sense for people. Many people do not have reliable transportation. Often people can get to libraries via public transportation. Bringing food and healthy eating incentives to the Library is a great way to promote literacy and healthy eating at once.

summer lunch at library

Program Impact

  • Opportunities for participants to buy local produce using their federal benefits.
  • Opportunities for participants to purchase more local produce through the SC Department of Social Services (SC DSS) Healthy Bucks incentive program. The Healthy Bucks program gives SNAP recipients an additional $10 in tokens to buy produce from local farmers after spending $5 in SNAP benefits for fruits and vegetables.
  • New farmers began accepting SNAP benefits and Healthy Bucks incentives.
  • Increased participation at USDA Summer Food Service sites located at the library and in the surrounding community.
  • Increase in the number of patrons visiting the library.
  • 50% of participants expressed interest in wanting to come back to the library for cooking demonstrations.
  • Promotion of literacy and healthy behaviors through distribution of nutrition-related books.
  • Multi-sector partnerships formed among library directors, SC State Library, SNAP-Ed, and SC DSS, and farmers.
people getting vegetables outside

Type of Program 

Nutrition education/direct education and PSE Change.

Number of Participants 

  • 1,369 participants in the summer of 2017.
  • Participants 
  • Youth and their families who are eligible or already receiving SNAP benefits.
children listening to a story at the library


Programs are evaluated by surveying participants, parents, farmers, and library staff.


The host libraries for the summer of 2017 were Lee County Library in Bishopville, Orangeburg County Public Library-Main Branch, and Lexington County Library-Pelion Branch. 

nutrition education at library

SNAP-Ed Evaluation Framework Indicators

ST6: Champions
ST7: Organizational Partnerships
ST8: Multi-Sector Partnerships and Planning
MT1: Healthy Eating
MT5: Nutrition Supports
MT8: Agriculture
LT9: Leveraged Resources

This story was submitted by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, a SNAP-Ed agency. If you have questions or for more information please contact QuinTasha Knox or 803-898-1630. 

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