Discover and share stories

of adventure, connection, and change making.

14 people think this is good


  1. {{}}
  1. {{fields.video_link.url}}

Ready to post! You’ve uploaded the maximum number of images.

Your video is ready to post!

Oops! Nice pic, but it’s just not our (file) type. Please try uploading a .jpg or .png image.

Well, this is embarrassing. Something went wrong when posting your comment. Care to try again?

That image is too large. Maximum size is 6MB.

Please enter a valid URL from YouTube or Vimeo.

Embedding has been disabled for this video.


Posting comment...

  • Caz D

    It's just plain self-righteous, mean-spiritedness on the part of officials. Anyone who could take food away from children then throw it away must have had an empathy bypass. The children learnt that there are some people who value something, but whatever it is that they value, it's not human beings.

  • Sharon Exendine Swon

    The public school lunch program has a multitude of guidelines of which I have tried to look at over the years and it is very difficult to get straight answers on questions. I am not in favor of taking food from children or throwing away food. I believe most of the school cafeteria employees are trying to do what is required of them and some do not understand what is required of them.

  • jkclements

    This is appalling, but there's a bigger story here: Eligible parents aren't signing their kids up for the free and reduced meals programs.

    This is not an education/paperwork issue, it's bad parenting. The least educated parents in your community know enough to register their children for free-or-reduced meals.

    Ironically, it's the "educated" parents who are too proud to ask for help. If you care about your kids, you will make sure they have access to food. You either buy it for them, or you take all necessary steps to acquire it for them any other way -- the schools in my area basically give it away (free - if eligible - or reduced @ about $3/week for 10 meals).

    This story should be more about the stigma of poverty and asking for help in this generation of parents which is leading to hungry kids. These school officials are trying to make a valid point, unfortunately they're doing a really bad job of it and turning the story from the one we should be focusing on, to the one that sells more click throughs.

  • jm.flip

    I have to wonder if there is a "recycle box" available? We live in Cleveland and the in some schools (dependent if it is "serve" or "choice") there is a box where children who do not want an item can put it in the box. I feel all schools should be a "serve" school. All children have to take everything that is offered. If they do not want it they put it in the box. Our district also provides free breakfast and lunch regardless of need. Although I do not know why this would not be the case in a school where most(?) students are in a position where their parents are required to pay. It is bought and paid for regardless (we hope right?). I have wondered lately if this is not another way to cut costs? If you are ordering for a school and know that x number of children will not eat something, you do not order as much of that item. Meh.

  • Alessandra Rizzotti

    Are there any programs that are working with schools to prevent food waste by feeding kids who are coming to school hungry?

    • Melinda Anderson

      Hi Alessandra. I'm not sure what you're asking. Food is being thrown away because students have overdue lunch accounts. The "food waste" is due to adults not letting children eat who owe money. Because of how school cafeterias operate, most times students get lunch and then proceed to register. If they don't have money, the school meal is discarded because by law (health regs) food can't be given to another child once it's been served/touched. That's what makes these cases even more appalling. The food can't be resold anyway. So schools are trashing a meal rather than letting a child eat and settling the finances later.

      • Alessandra Rizzotti

        Sorry I confused you. I just know there are programs out there that collect food waste and donate it-- it's considered waste but it's actually perfectly good food. I'm sure schools wouldn't allow programs like that- but it would be interesting if they tried this for students that can't afford meals. Of course this doesn't take away the problem that schools are wasting food just bec students can't pay for them. Instead, there should be programs similar to SNAP that allow students to have the meals subsidized or paid for.

        • Liz Dwyer

          Those kinds of programs are great but as you pointed out, those don't at all address the problem of schools actually trashing food instead of letting hungry kids eat it. We've come to a point in our society where folks would rather enforce a nonsensical policy that's in no way based in the reality of poverty in America than let kids eat.

          Also, I read a story about a guy who saw that this had happened in Utah and so he stepped up and paid for the meals of the kids in his community. What a hero.

        • Melinda Anderson

          Yes, there are programs that subsidize school meals (FARMs). At its root, it's a paperwork issue, a district bookkeeping issue, not a food availability issue. Thanks for comment.