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Old Gold & Black

Old Gold & Black

Scott Kull: The new Director of Athletics
Abigail Taylor, Contributing Writer • April 16, 2024

Another Well-Deserved Thank You

Another Well-Deserved Thank You

Healthcare workers and essential employees deserve our praise and gratitude for their service.

Let’s be candid. Being at home sucks for most of us. We miss our normal routines, in-person classes, eating out, visiting family and friends and even just feeling secure in public. We are all suffering in some way.

However, due to the dedication of many individuals, we can still somewhat function in a way that retains a sense of normalcy. Even though it has become slightly cliché, we really are “all in this together” and even roles that might not be the first that come to mind when we think about those who are working to ward off the virus can make a difference.  

My father, Todd Bedenbaugh, is the Director of Nutrition Services for a school district in the Midlands of South Carolina. His primary role is to manage the budget for the district’s breakfast and lunch programs, apply for grants and create and oversee programs that will improve the quality of nutrition that students receive.

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Even though this role may initially appear removed from social work, this is far from the truth. Bedenbaugh focuses on ensuring that all students who cannot afford a school lunch, who are unlikely to be fed when not in school and who have complicated and compromised home lives, can depend on being fed while at school.

But at the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, Bedenbaugh quickly had to adjust to guaranteeing that all students, despite their circumstances, could easily and safely receive the food that they need. Each week has brought about unexpected hurdles. During the early stages of the state of South Carolina’s shutdown, Bedenbaugh’s district distributed around 33,000 meals in a single day. Two weeks later, the number of meals provided in a single day rose to 46,300.

“The most challenging portion of serving the community is just not knowing how many people will come to pick up meals…it’s an open invitation for anyone…it’s not limited to anyone who may have previously received support.”

Despite the frustrations and unpredictability Bedenbaugh and his teams have faced, he continues to remain positive and thankful.

“The most rewarding part has been knowing that we are providing to a community in need…so many people have faced unemployment, being furloughed or just not being able to find food in grocery stores. It’s a service that we are proud to provide.”

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