K-12 survey: Feeding students, not the trash can

Here's how operators across the country are dealing with food waste and food insecurity.
food insecurity

Food waste and food insecurity continue to be major issues in K-12. Many survey respondents say they’re utilizing share tables as a way to combat both problems at once. A share table is community table in the cafeteria where students can place unopened food that they don’t want for their peers who may still be hungry.

How are you trying to reduce food insecurity?

13.9% combat food waste with composting.

At Smith-Green Community Schools in Churubusco, Ind., kitchen staff send leftover food scraps to the district’s elementary school for use in its flower garden.


Community care

It can take a village to help keep students fed. Here are three types of organizations districts are partnering with to help hungry students.

Food banks

“This year, we started receiving food from the St. Louis Food Bank to distribute to our families once a month,” says Deb Brem, foodservice director at Harmony Emge School District 175 in Belleville, Ill.


“Weekend meals and backpack programs are offered through local churches,” says Mary Farkas, child nutrition specialist at Akron Public Schools in Akron, Ohio.

Boys and Girls Clubs

“Our YMCA offers meals in their after-school program,” says Connie Million, foodservice director at Greensburg Community Schools in Greensburg, Ind. “The YMCA also offers an after-school program at our elementary school, and meals are provided there.”



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