The Elkhart school district in Indiana is going above and beyond to make sure its students have enough to eat. They have teamed up with Cultivate, a local non-profit, which does “food rescue” and saves fare that was prepared but never served during breakfast and lunch. Woodland Elementary is the site of its pilot program. Students in need of nourishment during the weekend are sent home with enough food to get by until the following Monday rolls around.
The program solves a problem that many students struggle with each week. All Elkhart students have the opportunity to get breakfast and lunch from the cafeteria, but for some, these meals are the only steady source of food in their lives. The take-home meals offer a way to feed those who need help outside of school hours.
One ingenious aspect of the program is that the cafeteria isn’t having to prepare more food. The cooks at Woodland—like most schools—over prepare for their students. The food that goes unserved is typically discarded at the end of the day—but not anymore! Cultivate visits the school three days a week and packages good leftovers into frozen meals. On Fridays, 20 students are given a backpack with eight meals inside.
The Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Academy helped to launch the take-home meal program. “It’s making a big impact,” Melissa Ramey of the Chamber Leadership Academy says. “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.” Thanks to its success, the district plans to expand the program to other schools.
h/t: [Mental Floss]
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