Feed the Hungry with “Share Tables”

According to Feeding America, nearly 13 million children do not get enough to eat each day. Think about that number for a moment, 13 MILLION! Then I want you to think about how much food is thrown away every day for one reason or another. In fact, the USDA tells us that here in the United States we are currently wasting about 40% of our food supply!

If we are throwing out almost half our our food with 13 million children going hungry, something is definitely wrong.

More on that in later posts, but for now, let’s talk about a new concept spreading around the country. Think back to being in school and trading your bologna and cheese sandwich for your friend’s peanut butter and jelly. “Share tables” will allow them to take foods that they either don’t like or don’t want and share them with other students! In addition, it also allows students who are hungry to pick up something for free.

Under a new program that is backed by the United States Department of Agriculture share tables allow food or beverage items to be reused in multiple ways!

  • Children may take an additional helping of a food or beverage item from the share table at no cost
  • Food or beverage items left on the share table may be served and claimed for reimbursement during another meal service (i.e., during an afterschool program when leftover from a school lunch)
  • Food or beverage items may be donated to a non-profit organization, such as a community food bank, homeless shelter or other non-profit charitable organization

From a school in Washington D.C:

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This week is National School Breakfast Week, which allows students, school staff, faculty, and families to understand the importance of school breakfast, and the benefits that it offer to students in D.C. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Our organization is doing what we can to join the fight to feed DC students in school and throughout the weekend with our Share Tables and Weekend Bag program. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Let’s work together to reduces hunger among school-aged children. Together we can make a difference! . . . . . @dchungersolutions #NSBW #DCFoodProject #ReduceFoodWaste #EatWhatYouTake #WeekendBagProgram #ShareTable #DCFPTeam #Takewhatyouwant #noKidHungry #DCPS #Endchildhoodhunger #Childhoodhunger #Foodinsecurity #foodrescuedc #Dczerowaste #neverthrowaway #Gwfoodinstitute #Feedthehungry #Fhcasa #Dceats @dcpseats #DCPSEats #Hungerfighters #Socialchange #hungercantwait #NationalSchoolBreakfastWeek @dcpublicschools @dcsummermeals

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Where it started:

Jennifer Janus is one of the pioneers of this program that came out of Wallingford, CT in 2017. Since the start of the program, thousands of pounds of food are being redirected from trash cans into the hands of those who need it the most to end the hunger crisis.

“The first goal is to make sure there’s no hungry kids at school. The second goal is to bring the food here so we can feed the hungry people our town … This is all food that would get thrown away. Food is not trash.”

-Jennifer Janus to the Record-Journal in November 2017

If you need help with food for your family or if you want to help provide food for a local family check out our resource page. Comment below with what changes you think should be made with the way we handle food and food waste!

Controlling the Symptoms of Secondary Lymphedema: Does the Ketogenic Diet Really Work?

This post is going to be personal for me, as I have secondary lymphedema in my left leg and foot. It started shortly after my daughter was born and I had significant damage and infections in my lower abdomen that required surgery and a long healing process, but that is for another post. March is Lymphedema Awareness Month and so this post is to understand why a ketogenic diet can truly help those dealing with lymphedema.

For sufferers of secondary lymphedema, it can be hard to find management strategies that provide noticeable results. In the struggle, however, there is one treatment option that has seen increased interest over the past few years – the ketogenic diet. While formal research is still lacking as to whether the diet itself has any direct beneficial effects for sufferers of secondary lymphedema, there are several first-hand accounts that suggest adhering to the ketogenic diet may help alleviate certain symptoms.

So, what is the ketogenic diet? Much like the Atkins diet, the ketogenic diet (or simply, the keto diet) is a low-carb, high-fat, and adequate-protein diet. While the diet is more traditionally prescribed as an alternative treatment for children with epilepsy, it is currently being considered as a potential treatment for several additional conditions, including secondary lymphedema. Though varying successes have been reported by secondary lymphedema sufferers who have tried the diet, it has yet to be determined whether any perceived benefits are due to the ketogenic diet itself or if any type of diet leading to weight loss would generate the same positive results.

Either way, as the ketogenic diet has the potential for being a drug-free and cost-effective way to reduce the symptoms of secondary lymphedema, it is definitely worth exploring. Do keep in mind, due to the restrictive nature of the ketogenic diet, you should speak with your doctor and consult a dietitian prior to starting this dietary regimen. Your doctor will be able to inform you of any side effects that may be experienced while on the diet and a dietitian can provide you with a detailed meal plan to ensure you will be consuming the necessary nutrients, despite your restrictive diet.