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Unused cafeteria food turned into take-home meals for Indiana students

ELKHART, Ind. – An Indiana school district has partnered with a non-profit organization for a pilot program to make sure kids get enough to eat at home.

Students at Elkhart Community Schools get breakfast and lunch at school but, sometimes, they may be without food on the weekends at home.

The district has partnered with the non-profit organization Cultivate to provide weekend food to a group of students at the elementary school by using unused cafeteria food.

“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,” Jim Conklin with Cultivate told WSBT. “Over-preparing is just part of what happens. We take well-prepared food, combine it with other food and make individual frozen meals out if it.”

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

According to WSBT, 20 students will receive a backpack with eight individual frozen meals every Friday until the end of the school year.

The district said it hopes to expand the program to other schools.

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