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Indiana School District packages unused food into take-home meals for kids

by MyParisTexas
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An Indiana school is hoping to begin a new craze after they recently partnered with a local nonprofit group to provide healthy meals for students on weekends. 

WSBT reported earlier this year that Woodland Elementary School in Elkhart, Ind, partnered with the South Bend-based nonprofit Cultivate, to provide school children frozen meals to take home on the weekends. 

“Mostly, we rescue food that’s been made but never served by catering companies, large foodservice businesses, like the school system,” said Jim Conklin, with Cultivate. “You don’t always think of a school.”

“At Elkhart Community Schools, we were wasting a lot of food,” said Natalie Bickel, with 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.”

The pilot program looked to address a need as the schools’ were wasting food that was not consumed. There were also students that outside of school hours who weren’t getting a nutritious meal at home. 

According to a report done by CBS News, “one elementary school in the district will give 20 kids a backpack filled with food every Friday. Eight frozen meals will go into each backpack to carry the family through the weekend.”

The program ran through the end of the 2018/19 school year. 

The school secretary at Woodlands Elementary said that since garnering national attention to their program, they continue to get inquiries from schools all over the United States. 

“Just this week we had a school from Utah phone to get more information on the program,” she said.

Adding that it wasn’t just school food that was upcycled to make nutritious meals, but the organization that put them together also acquired food from other venues.

“We are doing the program this year, and it is amazing the number of schools that are interested in knowing about the program,” she said. 

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