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Tennessee Schools Attempt to Tackle Problem of Hungry Students

By: Krystle Crossman

Schools try to plan out the lunchtime volume and figure out how much food they are going to need for the students that they have for the day. Sometimes though no matter what they do they will have food left over that ends up going to waste even though it is still enclosed in its packaging. Some schools in Tennessee are trying to cut down on the food waste by creating “community tables”. They will take the food that is unopened or foods such as fresh fruits and veggies and place them on the table that is designated as the community table. These foods are up for grabs for any child that wants them.

Many children go to school hungry or do not have snacks during the day because either their parents forget to give them snacks or they cannot afford the food. This is where the community table comes into play. If there is still food left from the table after a meal they can send the fruits and packaged foods that are still unopened and send them to the classrooms to keep in case there is a student who does not have a snack.

Food is wasted so often at schools that Don Hassler, Board of Education Representative in the 5th district of Cumberland County decided that they needed to do something about it, especially when there were kids who were still hungry while they were at school. Some kids are just growing too quickly and they need more food because the serving they get for a meal isn’t quite enough. The program has been working well so far and everyone seems to be on board with it. The students are loving the extra food as well.

One of the biggest benefits of this program is that students are not going through class time hungry. When this happens they have trouble concentrating on learning and their grades can end up suffering. If there are extra snacks to go around they will be able to get the nourishment that they need and be able to focus on their schoolwork instead of their rumbling stomachs.

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