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Take Some - Leave Some

Jenn Atkinson,   Axtell Park School
Food: Waste Less and Enjoy — It's Good for All of Us!
Access to Healthy Foods,  Teamwork
This year was the first year we tried a "take some - leave some" cart at our school. It has been VERY successful. While the guidelines state that each student has to take certain items at breakfast and lunch, some students don't want to (but they are forced to), take each item. Breakfasts have string cheese some days, or crackers or milk that students may not want, while others may want a second milk. The Take Some - Leave Some cart allows for less waste and students to be able to help each other. We now have a cart set up on the cafeteria for students to either take an extra milk, apple, veggie or string cheese or leave something they don't want to eat that day. This has also helped in limiting food waste! Going the extra mile to help our friends and the planet out!

What challenges did you face and how did you overcome them?

One major challenge we faced was offering the Take Some - Leave Some cart in a place where everyone had access. The cart was moved a couple times in order to assure the best placement and by the fourth move it had found its home for all to enjoy.

How did students and adults work together as a team?

Students had asked about sharing lunches or giving things to those that would like them. They took this to the administration and worked with child nutrition to help the students succeed in their goal. The students were happy to be able to help other peers and get an extra treat they liked from time to time.

What improvements have you seen at your school?

By having the Take Some - Leave Some cart, we have seen many improvements in behavior as well as students not being hungry. Some students do not have the money and make too much for free lunch. By having the Take Some - Leave Some area, these students have the opportunity to grab a snack if they need one.