Northern Indiana nonprofit Cultivate Culinary School & Catering has partnered with five Elkhart, Ind., schools to provide to-go meals for students in need. The meals are prepared with excess cafeteria food that would have otherwise gone to waste.
Currently, 20 students at one Elkhart school are receiving eight Cultivate meals weekly, according to USA Today. Those meals are delivered on a Friday in an insulated backpack and are intended to ensure students have food to eat over the weekend.
In addition to using excess cafeteria food, Cultivate works with multiple donors to repackage food that would have otherwise gone to waste. However, finding enough food donations to meet the demand in the community is challenging.
USA Today has more details:
A pilot program involving five Indiana schools and a local non-profit seeks to provide to-go meals for students in need by making use of excess cafeteria food.
The partnership between Elkhart Community Schools and the northern Indiana non-profit Cultivate Culinary School & Catering began in March and is the starting point for a program that organizers hope to expand widely in the community, Randy Ziolkowski — Cultivate's co-founder and general manger — told USA TODAY on Wednesday.
Cultivate picks up excess cafeteria food — items that have been prepared but not served — from five Elkhart schools three times a week, said Ziolkowski, who goes by Randy Z. That food is taken back to Cultivate's facility and transformed into nutritionally balanced frozen to-go meals.