School turning unused food into take-home meals for students

U.S. & World

ELKHART, Ind. – A school district in Indiana is taking steps to make sure children have enough to eat – even when they’re not at school.

Students at Woodland Elementary in Elkhart usually get breakfast and lunch at school. But when they’re home on the weekends, they may not have access to food.

That’s where “Cultivate” comes in. The non-profit organization teamed up with the school to “rescue” unused food and turn it into weekend meals for a small group of students.

“Mostly we rescue food that’s been made but never served by catering companies, large food service businesses, like the school system. You don’t always think of a school system,” Jim Conklin said. “And over-preparing is just part of what happens. And we take that well-prepared prepared food combine it with other food and make individual frozen meals out of it.”

According to WSBT, 20 students are in the pilot food program. Those students receive a backpack every Friday with eight individual frozen meals.

“We were wasting a lot of food. There wasn’t anything to do with the food and so they came to schools three times a week and rescued our food,” said Natalie Bickel, the school’s student services supervisor. “So they’re going back to cultivate processing the food and coming right back to our students.”

The school system is hoping to expand the program to other schools in the future.

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