Wasted Food and Hungry Kids: How One School is Making a Difference

Credit: WSBT and No Kid Hungry

Food insecurity is a real and growing issue.

Hungry child

Every day, as many as 1 in 6 children in the United States goes hungry. Why is it, then, that thousands of meals are also discarded as garbage, every day, in our public school systems?

Often times, these children rely upon the free breakfast and lunch programs offered by their schools just to have the opportunity to eat anything at all during the week. The harsh reality is, though, that for every meal a child goes without when they are not in school, an equivalent meal is thrown out as food waste by the same schools that these kids attend. That’s why Elkhart School District in Indiana decided to change its approach to solving both these issues for their students at Woodland Elementary.

Photo by: US Department of Agriculture

When administrators realized how much food the schools in their district were wasting, and compared that to how many students they were aware of who didn’t have access to regular meals at home, they found a way to end the cycle and began offering prepackaged meals to at-risk kids in their school using the unused food from their cafeteria. Woodland Elementary teamed up with Cultivate, a non-profit that focuses on “rescuing” over-prepared food and repurposes it into frozen meals that can then be distributed. 

Now, and through the end of the school year, 20 kids at Woodward Elementary will be able to take home up to 8 prepared meals for the weekends to ensure they do not go hungry outside of school. This pilot program is making a huge impact on the lives of students benefitting from the meals while simultaneously ending the food waste cycle that is so prevalent in the community. It’s an idea that, if adopted nationwide, could be an incredible answer to a growing problem for our most vulnerable children.  

For more information on how GoodBulb is able to help provide access to education for children all over the world, or if you want to find a way to #BeGood with us, please visit us here and tell us your stories and ideas!

Ensuring our children are fed and healthy is but one element to creating a Good life for our families. At GoodBulb, we see the value in the small, everyday events that help to build a brighter future. That is why we are working to bring light to places where none exists. Like Elkhart Schools, we have found a way to give back to our communities by providing solar LED lanterns to children who live without electricity. Our kids are our future, and access to a proper education is the best way to safeguard that future. With your help, we provide the lights that enable these children to not only see their homework when it is too dark inside their homes, but that provides an opportunity for them to even attend school in the first place.