School leftover program helps local food pantry

A program in the Bartholomew Consolidated Schools cafeterias is keeping food out of the trash and helping to feed the hungry in the community.

The program, called the “No Thank You” table, lets students who don’t want a particular item at lunch to put the unopened and unused item on a special table with ice trays where others who are hungry can take¬†them¬†with no questions asked, says Nancy Millspaugh, director of the school district’s food services program.

“The children can go up during their lunch period and get additional servings that they would like, free of charge,” Millspaugh said. “We allow that for students who are pack students, as well. They don’t necessarily have to go through our lunch line to get the extra food.”

Millspaugh said the extra food, mostly milk, is stored and marked for donation to the community. At the end of the week it is picked up by Love Chapel.

“They tend to use it in their hot meals site service,” Millspaugh said. “It has been very helpful for them. They say that it has saved them about 53 gallons of milk a week.”

So far, the program has generated nearly two tons of food for food pantries, or about 3,600 pounds of food.

Some schools are seeing all of the extras taken by hungry students during the day. And the high schools are not participating in the Love Chapel donations, she said. .

“At our high schools, it doesn’t necessarily get picked up by Lovel Chapel because we have our own BCSC food pantries, at those schools that are open to the students and the community,” Millspaugh said. “So it will go there, if there is excess.”

Millspaugh gave her annual food services report to the BCSC school board Monday night.