Indiana's Elkhart School District is working to help bridge the gap between potentially wasted food and the kids who need food the most.
Across the country, 40% of food produced is thrown away, yet 1 in 8 Americans struggle with hunger. Sadly, many of them are kids.
"We have a roughly 70% free- and reduced-lunch population. We have really hardworking families, and sometimes they just come up short," says Natalie Bickel, Supervisor of Student Services with Elkhart Community Schools. "So, we partnered with Cultivate and implemented their backpack program into our schools."
"Cultivate's main mission is feeding hungry children. We rescue food that has been prepared and never served," explains Randy Z., co-founder and executive chef of Cultivate. "We bring that back and put it into an insulated backpack and give them to the children every Friday so they have food over the weekend."
"The nice thing about these meals are they are actually made by some of the best chefs in our community, so they're not a processed food product like you would get in a can or on a shelf. Each meal that we produce contains a well-balanced meal for the child," Randy continues.
We invited Randy and Natalie to come on our show and help spread the word about Cultivate and its partnership with Elkhart Community Schools.
Watch the video above to learn more about the program and its benefits. Plus, see Randy and Natalie's reaction to a very big surprise from our friends at Kroger to help support Cultivate's efforts.
If you're interested in donating to Elkhart Community Schools' Backpack Program with Cultivate, you can click here for more information.