Appleton Area School District introduced Food Sharing Tables at all school lunch rooms (effective January 22, 2019). The initiative comes from a national push to reduce food waste and encourage healthy eating habits. According to the US Department of Agriculture, up to 40% of food produced in America is wasted, amounting to 31 million tons of food added to landfills each year.
Sharing tables are an innovative strategy to encourage the consumption of nutritious foods and reduce food waste in the National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program.
There are some restrictions and the must be from the school lunch program (not brought from home). Food will be placed on sharing tables. Accepted food must be unopened and prepackaged including milk, whole fruits, and vegetables, or bags of chips and crackers.
Food left over after breakfast or lunch will be donated to The Salvation Army Fox Cities (or other local food groups).
Food components recommended for sharing:
- Unopened pre-packaged items
- Whole fruits and vegetables
- Unopened milk, juice, yogurt, apple slices, cheese cubes, and string cheese when stored at 41 degrees or below
Food components not recommended for sharing:
- Unpackaged items, such as salad without a lid
- Packaged items that have been opened
- Perishable foods
Other local schools have No Thank You bins or Share Tables as well. When we asked on facebook people were overwhelmingly in favor of a similar initiative at their school. Let us know how your school has encouraged food sharing in the comments below or by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.