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:
View this post on Instagram
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
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