Food waste is a serious concern for virtually all cafeterias. One school district, though, has decided to do something about this and help those in need, killing two birds with one stone.
The Elkhart School District — from Elkhart, Indiana — has come up with a simple solution to food wasted in the school cafeteria that also combats hunger. Recently, the school has begun saving food leftover before it goes to waste. It then packages and freezes it for students in need to take home and eat over the weekend.
School all over the country provide free breakfasts and lunches to students in need. For many of these impoverished students, this meal is their main source of food. While they are on break over the weekend, many of them have nothing to eat.
All of this changed when the faculty and administrators at the school took note of the vast quantities of food thrown out every day from their cafeteria. They realized this was going to waste while students had nothing to eat over the weekend.
The school then partnered with Cultivate, a food assistance group. This way, the food that otherwise would have gone to waste is collected, packaged, and frozen before it is given to those in need.
The plan is as follows: on Fridays, a set of 20 students deemed to be at risk from Woodland Elementary School (part of the Elkhart School District) will be given a backpack with eight packaged frozen meals to eat at home over the weekend. This will continue for the rest of the school year, helping families keep their children fed.
Melissa Ramey of the Chamber Leadership Academy told local news that this is “making a big impact.”
“I am very proud of that,” she added. “It was heartbreaking to hear that children go home on the weekends and that they don’t have anything to eat.”