shcool district making sure kids don't go home hungry
Leah Berenson
Leah Berenson
June 2, 2024 ·  1 min read

This School District is Making Sure Kids Don’t Go Home Hungry

More than 12 million children in the United States live in “food insecure” homes. That phrase may sound mild, but it means that those households don’t have enough food for every family member to lead a healthy life.

While this doesn’t always mean that there is nothing to eat, it can mean that children are getting insufficient portions, or parents aren’t able to afford nutritious foods.

An Indiana School District is going above and beyond for their students. While breakfast and lunch are provided here throughout the week, this district is partnering up with Cultivate to ensure their students don’t go hungry on their weekends at home. 

Melissa Ramey, who works for the town’s Chamber of Commerce says “It was heartbreaking to hear that children go home on the weekends and that they don’t have anything to eat.”

Cultivate is an innovative nonprofit which works to collect or ‘rescue’ leftover food, that was never served from catering companies and large food service business’, like cafeterias. They then repackage these foods as individual frozen meals and label them with heating instructions for the kids.

Many school’s over-prepare foods and by saving the leftovers, these meals can now go back to the people they were originally prepared for: kids. It’s common for the foodservice industry to over-prepare, however, this over-producing strategy also creates a lot of unnecessary food waste. 

Cultivate has created a sustainable approach to decrease food waste, and it’s also a heartwarming service. No kid should have to go hungry. On Fridays, about 20 students are given a backpack with eight meals, for the entirety of the school year.

With this backpack program, students won’t have to worry about where their next meal is coming from. They’ll know it was made with love in their school cafeteria, and then “rescued” just for them.


  1. Indiana school district turns unused cafeteria food into take-home meals for kids in need