School Share Programs: Reducing Waste & Hunger

School share programs are a way to feed our children that are gaining popularity across the country. These programs allow K-12 school students to share unopened, uneaten food with each other. The FNS (Food and Nutrition Service) encourages the use of share programs to “increase consumption of nutritious foods and minimize food waste”. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) FNS website, “Share tables allow food or beverage items to be reused in a number of ways, depending on the program’s preference.”

Their website also lists several different ways to offer a share program:

  • Children may take an additional helping of a food or beverage item from the share table at no cost.
  • Food or beverage items left on the share table may be served and claimed for reimbursement during another meal service (i.e., during an afterschool program when leftover from a school lunch).
  • Food or beverage items may be donated to a non-profit organization, such as a community food bank, homeless shelter, or other non-profit charitable organization.

Since 2016, foodservice directors in school nutrition have been creating their own share stations. Many have worked with manufacturers to create colorful tables, stations, carts, etc. to encourage students to use the share programs.

At New Age Industrial, we developed our own Share Cart. It comes with (2) cold pans to manage temperatures of refrigerated products, shelves for other packaged food items and two places for signage. There are many color options available. The bright colors and signage make the share program more friendly and inviting to students; encouraging them to participate.

The New Age Industrial Share Cart is a mobile food pantry that helps schools reduce hunger, food insecurity, and waste. Students are encouraged to leave unwanted, unopened food and drinks in the Share Cart, where other students can help themselves. Foods accepted are individually packaged foods, snacks, milk, juice, fruit, and other items depending on individual state rules and regulations.

The New Age Industrial Share Cart has several benefits for schools:

  • Reduces hunger and food insecurity: The Share Cart provides a convenient way for students to access food, even if they don’t have enough money to buy it themselves. This can help to reduce hunger and food insecurity, which are serious problems in many schools.
  • Reduces food waste: The Share Cart helps to reduce food waste by keeping unopened food that would otherwise be thrown away out of the trash. This is good for the environment and saves money for schools.
  • Promotes community: The Share Cart can help to promote community by encouraging students to share food with each other. This can help to build relationships and create a sense of belonging.
  • Educate students about food insecurity: The Share Cart can be used to educate students about food insecurity and the importance of sharing food. This can be done through signage on the cart, talks by school staff, or other means.
  • Encourage students to volunteer: The Share Cart can be used to encourage students to volunteer their time to help with food drives or other food-related projects. This can help students develop a sense of civic responsibility and make a difference in their community.
  • Promote healthy eating habits: The Share Cart can be used to promote healthy eating habits by stocking it with healthy foods, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. This can help students make healthier choices when they are eating.

The Share Cart is a valuable tool for schools that want to reduce hunger, food insecurity, and waste. It is a simple and effective way to help students get the food they need. For more information or to design a share cart, visit our website or give us a call at 800-255-0104.

New Age Industrial is the leading aluminum extruder and fabricator of storage and transportation equipment in the United States. We use a Flexible Manufacturing Process to design and build heavy-duty yet lightweight aluminum products that can be customized to fit your exact needs, completely stress-free. Our unmatched versatility in product design and in-house team of experts make New Age Industrial the Top Choice for material handling and food service equipment. Our products are Proudly Made in the USA!