School Cafeteria Packages Unused Food for Kids in Need

Row of books.

Row of books.

School cafeterias often deal with more than enough food after school kids eat. Depending on the school, this food is tossed into the trash, or given away. The Elkhart School District in Indiana is doing the latter, with the help of a non-profit called Cultivate, they’re able to send students home with backpacks of food.

Doing More

Elkhart School District students are served breakfast and lunch at their school and extra food is just what happens. Now, instead of throwing out the leftovers, the school is giving them to students who need it. The District of Elkhart takes the leftovers and packages them as frozen meal which are then placed into cooler backpacks which the student can take home.

Every weekend, students can take the backpack filled with eight frozen, easy to prepare, meals home. who attend Woodland Elementary, told The Washington Post that


The cafeteria staff at Woodland were esthetic when they started the backpack program “At Elkhart Community Schools, we were wasting a lot of food,” [2] 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.”

Currently twenty students at


  1. ^Marcoux, Heather. “School cafeteria packages unused food into take-home meals for kids in need 👏.” Motherly, 4 Apr. 2019, (go back  ↩)
  2. ^Ed Ernstes, Wsbt 22 Reporter. “Elkhart Schools teams up with program to package unused food into take-home meals.” WSBT, 2 Apr. 2019, (go back  ↩)

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