An Indiana school district is taking a major step forward when it comes to helping students who may be in need. According to a report from WSBT, Elkhart Community Schools are rescuing their unused cafeteria food and turning it into take-home meals to make sure students always have enough to eat.
The take-home meals come with the help of Cultivate, a non-profit based in South Bend.
“Mostly, we rescue food that’s been made but never served by catering companies, large food service businesses, like the school system,” said Jim Conklin, Cultivate. “You don’t always think of a school. Over-preparing is just part of what happens. We take well-prepared food, combine it with other food and make individual frozen meals out if it.”
The students in the program will be receiving a backpack filled with eight frozen meals every Friday until the school year is over.
The Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Academy Commerce also stepped in to get the program rolling.
“It’s making a big impact,” said Melissa Ramey, Chamber Leadership Academy. “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.”
Because of the high amount of food waste, it was a natural step forward for the district to rescue the food and put it to good use.
“At Elkhart Community Schools, we were wasting a lot of food,” said Natalie Bickel, student services. “There wasn’t anything to do with the food. So they came to the school three times a week and rescued the food.”
Elkhart is hoping that their program will eventually be expanded to other schools and various districts. And, quite frankly, we think this is the kind of program that should be implemented in every school district across the United States.