The SC Legislature began the first year of a two-year session on January 10, 2023. Wholespire will work with legislators and partners over the next two years on healthy eating and active living policy changes that will positively impact all South Carolinians. You can partner with us by becoming a Wholespire advocate and taking action like contacting your legislators with our Action Alert emails and sharing our social media posts.
Our Legislative Priorities
S.148 Free School Meals
Sponsors:Senator Katrina Shealy (R-District 23), Senator Stephen Goldfinch (R-District 34), Senator Mia McLeod (D-District 22) and Senator Marion Kimpson (D-District 42)
This bill seeks to ensure that all public school students receive free breakfast and lunch. It provides guidelines for eligible schools to participate in the USDA Community Eligibility Program and establishes a state-level reimbursement program for ineligible schools. The bill also ensures all students have ample time to eat lunch by extending the lunch period to 30 minutes.
Active: Take action now to curb child hunger!
H.3731 Recess Extension
Sponsors: Representatives Haddon, Burns, Long and Vaughan
This bill seeks to ensure that all public school students have more time for recess. It states that mandatory, daily recess periods should total 45-60 minutes for kindergarten through 5th grade and 30-45 minutes for 6th grade through 8th grade. Recess should be unstructured, self-directed outdoor physical activity. The same requirements apply to indoor recess during times of inclement weather, however, the use of electronic devices is prohibited during indoor recess times.
Action Alerts: Coming Soon!
Healthy Bucks Proviso
South Carolina Department of Social Services
The Healthy Bucks program allows Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients to obtain additional fresh produce at participating farmers markets. DSS is requesting $5 million in funding for the Healthy Bucks program in the budget this year. The SC House Ways and Means Healthcare Subcommittee agreed to allocate $3 million for Healthy Bucks, thanks in large part to our advocates reaching out to their legislators. The SC Senate Finance Committee is our last chance to ensure the full $5 million is included in the state budget this year.
SC DSS is also requesting $8.7 million to update the system they use to run SNAP benefits. DSS uses an outdated mainframe system to determine SNAP and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) eligibility in the state and to process payments to retailers when SNAP recipients buy groceries. Because of the age of the system, which processes about $1.8 billion worth of SNAP payments each year, DSS cannot make updates or improvements, which poses significant risks to the state.
Inactive: Let’s get Healthy Bucks & SNAP System Requests in the SC Senate Budget