School district turns unused cafeteria food into take-home meals for students

Posted at 10:42 AM, Apr 03, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-03 10:42:02-04

ELKHART, Ind. (CNN) - An Indiana school district is taking steps to make sure kids have enough to eat.

Elkhart schools is teaming up with a south bend-based food rescue for a pilot program. The pilot food program is happening at Woodland Elementary.

Students usually get breakfast and lunch at school, but on the weekends at home they may be without food. That's where the south bend based non-profit 'Cultivate’ comes in. It is providing weekend meals to a small group of students here.

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,” said Jim Conklin of Cultivate. “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.”

The bottom line was the pilot food program here it was an elementary provided by cultivate is that 20 students here will receive a backpack with eight individual frozen meals every Friday and till the end of school.

“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. So, they're going back to cultivate processing the food and coming right back to our students,” said, Student Services Supervisor, Natalie Bickel.

The Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Academy helped get the pilot programming going.

Melissa Ramey of the academy said, “it really just all came together and it's making a big impact so I’m really proud of that. It was heartbreaking to hear that children go home on the weekends and they don't have anything to eat."

“We saw a need and we wanted to fill that need,” said Natalie Bickel.

A big deal for the students on the receiving end.

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