PALMDALE – Nearly a quarter of elementary school lunches are thrown away, costing the United States economy more than $2 billion a year, according to Food Bus Inc. Palmdale School District aims to reduce that number by giving back to the community.
Six schools this month will begin donating leftover fruits and vegetables to South Antelope Valley Emergency Services (SAVES).
“We created this program to ensure that local families may enjoy a healthy meal at home,” stated Palmdale School District Superintendent Raul Maldonado. “Our food program offers a positive experience for students to learn the importance of giving back to those in need.”
In an effort to reduce food waste, the district started a pilot program in the summer to donate food to Lancaster Community Shelter. The district partnered with Food Bus Inc., a non-profit organization that distributes food to pantries and shelters.
During the pilot program, Food Bus Inc. donated leftover food from four elementary schools. After its success, the school district decided to branch out its program to help those that live in Palmdale.
The district assigned six refrigerators for six schools to join the food donation program. The child nutrition department selected the following schools: Palm Tree, Dos Caminos, Palmdale Learning Plaza, Summerwind, Desert Willow, and Barrel Springs.
Students enrolled in these schools will be able to give back to the community by donating leftover items from their food tray during lunch.
“Our goal is have our students lead by example to inspire others to contribute,” Maldonado said. “No one should have to go to bed hungry, especially if we have the resources to help families at their dinner table.”
[Information via news release from Palmdale School District.]