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Schools introduce “share tables” to keep kids from going hungry

Any parent knows that it can be difficult to get kids to eat everything you put in front of them.

No matter how creative you try to be with your meals, children are individuals with their own unique taste, and no amount of goading or coaxing is going to force them to eat that pile of carrots or drink the glass of milk if they don’t feel like it.

The most disheartening part of this is seeing all the perfectly good food that ends up in the trash.

Luckily, several schools across the US have come up with a genius initiative that allows children to choose what they want to eat, while also helping to feed needy children and other members of the community.

Several schools across America have set up their own share tables. Children can leave any unopened packaged food that they don’t want on the table for other children who want to swap some food items or just take extra.

Any food left over at the end of the day can be sent home with children who may not have enough to eat, or is donated to local organisations such as churches and food banks.

Florida appears to be taking the lead with this fantastic initiative, with about 20 schools in Orange County participating, according to the Orlando Sentinel. One of these schools is Aloma Elementary School, which donates any food left over at the end of the day to Redeemer Lutheran Church.

“Without this program, that would literally go in the dumpsters. It really helps us out,” Pastor Stan Reinemund told the Sentinel.

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When children go through the lunch line, they are required by the federal lunch program to take a certain amount of food. This may be too much for them to eat or include items that they won’t eat.

By law, any food served by the federal lunch program cannot be served again the next day, even if it’s still packaged and uneaten. Having a share table prevents this perfectly good food from going to waste.

The initiative has been met with praise from parents, teachers and school board members.

“The share and donation table is just terrific, to serve our other students or to go back into the community,” school board member Linda Kolbert told the Sentinel.

What a fantastic initiative! It makes me so happy to see good food going to those in need.

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