(Meredith) – A school district in Indiana is working to provide take-home meals for students in need to ensure they have enough food to eat over the weekends.
Elkhart Community Schools teamed up with a non-profit group called Cultivate to create a pilot program that will provide weekend meals for a small group of children at Woodland Elementary, WSBT reported.
The district's goal is to expand the program to feed more students in neighboring schools.
As part of the pilot program, 20 kids will receive a backpack with eight individual frozen meals every Friday until the end of the school year. The meals will be made using food that cafeteria workers prepared but never served, according to WSBT.
“Over-preparing is just part of what happens," said Cultivate spokesperson Jim Conklin. "We take well-prepared food, combine it with other food and make individual frozen meals out if it."
Natalie Bickel, the supervisor of student services at Elkhart, said the leftover food was going to waste because there wasn't anything to do with it, until now.
The Elkhart Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Academy helped launch the pilot program. Melissa Ramey, a member of the academy, said the program is already "making a big impact."
“I am proud of that," she said. "It was heartbreaking to hear that children go home on the weekends and that they don't have anything to eat.”