School District Turns Unused Cafeteria Food into Take-Home Meals for Kids in Need

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School District Turns Unused Cafeteria Food into Take-Home Meals for Kids in Need Empty School District Turns Unused Cafeteria Food into Take-Home Meals for Kids in Need

Post by phildidge on Sun Apr 07, 2019 1:04 am

One school district has come up with a simple, yet effective solution for simultaneously tackling both student hunger and food waste.

The Elkhart School District of Indiana has started salvaging their wasted food so they can package it up for their students to take home on the weekend. Many students depend on the free breakfasts and lunches that are provided by the school as their main source of food – so when there is no school on the weekend, many of those students have nothing to eat at home.

School administrators then noticed how much of their cafeteria food was going straight into the garbage.

So as a means of helping to feed their students over the weekends, the district partnered with food rescue group Cultivate to collect, package, and freeze all of their unused food from school lunches.

Now every Friday for the rest of the school year, 20 at-risk students from Woodland Elementary School will be given a backpack containing eight frozen meals for their weekend at home.

“It’s making a big impact,” Melissa Ramey from Chamber Leadership Academy told WSBT. “I am proud of that. It was heartbreaking to hear that children go home on the weekends and that they don’t have anything to eat.”

(WATCH the news coverage below) – Photo by WSBT



https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/school-district-turns-unused-cafeteria-food-into-take-home-kids-meals/

Makes you wonder, why nobody thought up this great idea before

Should be school policy in this country for all all schools

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Post by Cass on Sun Apr 07, 2019 5:27 am

Wonderful and absolutely agree it should be policy.

Where I live we have a pantry backpack program where stores donate money and/or food. Kids register through the school and go home with a backpack on Friday, full of food for however many people are in the family. They then return it on Monday but swinging by the cafeteria to pick up leftovers every day is a great idea.

In another district, the pantry is laid out like a store and on scheduled breaks, the kids go and “shop” for their food. I think having choice gives them more dignity. Also everyone in the school takes part from the principal to the bus drivers to erase the stigma. That’s classy.

I hope in the notbtoo distant future to have my library partner with other organizations to be able to do food backpacks for not only kids but for seniors as well. We will be doing lunches for the under 28s again during our summer reading program. Last year we served 422 lunches thanks to grants through the USDA and state Dept of education and the state library. I hope next year to offer an after school snack program too.

Food poverty is real. And it shouldn’t happen in our rich countries.

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Post by Cass on Sun Apr 07, 2019 5:33 am

Also this is a great idea too.

https://news.sky.com/story/benefit-cuts-forcing-desperate-parents-to-baby-banks-for-supplies-11685421

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Post by WhoseYourWolfie on Mon Apr 08, 2019 1:46 am

School District Turns Unused Cafeteria Food into Take-Home Meals for Kids in Need 3922118137

As long as the proper 'food handling protocols' are followed...

As thawing and re-freezing cooked meals leads to food poisoing risks rising exponentially..

For schools to properly implement these systems, that means having freezers and chillers, and seperate food handling and processing areas; and not allowing the excess food to warm back up.

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Post by Cass on Mon Apr 08, 2019 2:49 am

WhoseYourWolfie wrote:School District Turns Unused Cafeteria Food into Take-Home Meals for Kids in Need 3922118137

As long as the proper 'food handling protocols' are followed...

As thawing and re-freezing cooked meals leads to food poisoing risks rising exponentially..

For schools to properly implement these systems, that means having freezers and chillers, and seperate food handling and processing areas;  and not allowing the excess food to warm back up.

I don’t think it has to be that complicated. A separate fridge and containers for the food is all that is needed. The time difference between when the kids finish lunch, the food is packed up and put in the refrigerator and then picked up by the kids just before the go home is not that long.

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