Woodland Elementary Giving Food Leftovers to Poor Kids

Rafael Augusto B.L. De Oliveira | @ancient_scrolls

Childhood is a phase in which we are all full of energy. We can’t focus for too long in monotonous tasks. To a lot of children, school is dull and boring. After all, making a child sit still for endless hours doing the same repetitive tasks until the bell finally rings is a torment to them. Many in this age group spend most of their weekdays counting the days left for the weekend to finally arrive. Weekends are synonymous to freedom and fun times! However, in Woodland Elementary School in Elkhart, Indiana, this is not always the case as a lot of low-income families struggle to feed their children and make ends meet.

“It’s been a struggle as a mom, there are times where it’s been just peanut butter and jelly,” Angel Null, a recent stay-at-home mom told The Washington Post. Her family has been on hard times after she lost her job. Subsequently, her husband was fired by his boss in the RV Industry. 

For many kids across the nation, their food supply at home is scarce. These children, unlike others, appreciate going to school as it is their opportunity to get a filling lunch.

The Food Rescue Program

A nonprofit organization, Cultivate, has decided to step up a food-rescue program that will be giving away leftover food from the school’s cafeteria to children from low-income households. This will allow these kids to bring food, that would normally go to waste, to their home during the weekend. Every Friday, poor students are given a package with eight meals to be taken by them and consumed during the weekend. 

No Food Goes to Waste

Since the launch of this program, the school was able to stop discarding food that wasn’t served. Food leftovers are now frozen, packaged, and given to students from low-income families that struggle to get decent meals at home during the weekends. Like other schools across the country, Woodland Elementary School’s cafeteria used to prepare more food than what was used, resulting in many leftovers that remained unserved and would typically end up being wasted.

Expansion to Other Schools

It’s making a big impact, 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,” said Melissa Ramey of the Chamber Leadership Academy 

With this program, it seems that the Cultivate was able to kill two birds with one stone. They’ve solved the ever-increasing problem of food going to waste as there were always leftovers remaining in the school’s cafeteria. They were also able to help poor children during the weekend who had little food to look forward to. Melissa Ramey and The Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership, who aided Cultivate in creating this program, are already planning to expand it to other schools. 

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