Nearly 13 million children in the United States suffer from hunger every day. Often, these kids are unable to get lunches at school because they are too embarrassed to ask for help. Other kids are able to get lunch at school but don’t know where their next meal will come from.
Here’s the deal, though—the United States currently wastes 45% of all produce and 20% of all meat products. Instead of decomposing with the trash, this food could go toward feeding the children who are going hungry.
Some schools are doing what they can to helping feed the children in their school who are going hungry. They are providing “share tables” so that students can share the food that they don’t eat with others.
These share tables are backed by the United States Department of Agriculture. According to a memo from the USDA, “For various reasons, children may not always want to consume certain food or beverage items included in their meal. ‘Share tables’ are tables or stations where children may return food or beverage items they choose not to eat...these food and beverage items are then available to other children.”
If a child chooses not to eat any portion of their meal, they can return it to the share table. Other students who need more food can go to the share table to get more food.
This initiative helps to save food from landfills. Instead, it can be consumed by children who need it or donated to a food pantry.
Rock Hill Elementary School in Connecticut has been running a share table since February. In less than one year, they have donated 5,300 pounds of food to Master’s Manna, a local food pantry.
Jennifer Janus is a volunteer who helped start the share table initiative at Rock Hill Elementary. She shared, “The first goal is to make sure there’s no hungry kids at school. The second goal is to bring the food [to Master’s Manna] so we can feed the hungry people [in] our town.”
If you’re interested in starting a share table at your local school, check out more information about the initiative here. If you’re interested in wasting less food, check out this article about freeganism—people who decrease food waste by eating food that has been thrown away.