School districts participating in the National School Lunch Program are given the opportunity to implement a “Share Box” in effort to promote healthy eating while reducing food waste. A “Share box” is a station where students may return whole food or beverage items they choose not to eat during their meal period. These items are then available to other students who wish to receive additional servings of an item at no cost.
Students are asked to place unwanted, unopened food items in the share box before he/she sits down to eat his/her meal. During the meal period, students are welcome to help themselves to additional items free of charge. Any items left over after the end of the meal period will be donated to various non-profit organizations.
Items that are recommended for sharing:
• Unopened, packaged items, such as
o Whole pieces of fruit (apples, bananas, oranges)
o Packaged fruit cups (applesauce, peach cup, pear cup)
o Unopened milk, cheese stick, yogurt
o Pre-packaged vegetables, such as baby carrots, celery sticks
Items that are not recommended for sharing
• Unpackaged items, such as a cup of vegetables (green beans, corn, peas, carrots, etc.), entrée items such as pizza, Salisbury steak, popcorn chicken, etc.
• Opened items, such as an opened carton of milk or opened package of baby carrots
• Perishable foods, when a temperature control mechanism is not in place