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LESD Tackles Childhood Hunger and Food Waste
Posted 9/24/19

In California, 1 in 6 children struggle with hunger.¹ At the same time, up to 40% of food produced in the US is thrown away.² On January 1, 2018 the State Congress passed SB 557 to help address the joint issues of hunger and food waste by allowing uneaten foods to be placed on a share table that all students can access. Additionally, for those students who don’t face chronic hunger, share tables offer an opportunity to help encourage them to make a healthier choice when hungry.

 

The Lawndale Elementary School District has been concerned about student hunger and its’ effect on the health of our children. Beginning in August of 2018, the school district began offering breakfast and lunch at no cost for all students. Since 2018, all schools have piloted share table programs in various forms to further address student hunger and also tackle food waste. Many of those programs remain in operation today, but some have been discontinued.

 

As of October 1st, LESD’s CalFresh Healthy Living team (formerly Champions for Change) will start offering technical assistance for share tables at all LESD schools. The CalFresh Healthy Living team hopes to create guidelines about what is allowed on the share table, how the items are stored and ways that food will be distributed to the students and/or community. These guidelines would then be adopted and put into practice at all school sites to help reduce food waste and improve hungry students’ access to food.

 

Do you need help buying food for your family? CalFresh is here to help! To receive more information about the CalFresh program and how it can help your family, visit the CalFresh website.

 

 

Footnotes:

  1. “Hunger in California.” Feeding America, https://www.feedingamerica.org/hunger-in-america/california. Accessed 20 September 2019.

 

  1. “Food Waste.” Natural Resources Defense Council, https://www.nrdc.org/issues/food-waste. Accessed 20 September 2019.