Unused cafeteria food gets new life as Indiana school district turns leftovers into take-home meals

Elkhart Schools in South Bend are working with a pilot program called Cultivate that will debut at Woodland Elementary.

The local nonprofit is making sure students have meals that will last the weekend by “Tak[ing] well-prepared food, combine it with other food and make individual frozen meals out of it,” President and Co-founder of Cultivate, Jim Conklin explained.


Cultivate meals students will take home made with unused cafeteria food. (Photo: WSBT)

Cultivate rescues food from catering companies, food services, which includes schools.

By rescuing unused food about 20 students at Woodland Elementary can be provided with eight frozen meals every Friday, until the end of their school year.

Cultivate’s mission is to ending “joblessness, poverty, and hunger in the local communities of northern Indiana by providing a food rescue service and job training in the culinary arts.”

Considering that there are many Americans who are food-insecure, this nonprofit will help not only adults but also children who are the most vulnerable to food insecurity.

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