What happens to the wrapped and packaged foods that students must take on their lunch tray, but that they don’t want? In the past, it went right into the garbage. But no longer. Thanks to Suffern Central’s Food Service Director, Janet Ginocchio, the District is now piloting “Cooling Carts” at three of its five elementary schools. Approved by the Board of Health, these carts allow students to “drop off” packaged or wrapped food from their purchased school lunch only (no food from home allowed) at a station. Other students are then allowed to take that food if they want or need it.

According to RP Connor Principal, Kelly Benadi, “The children are not only eating the food but contributing to the cooling cart. The cart reinforces helping others and showing kindness. The best part about the cart is that the leftover food is now contributing to the snack program! Nothing is going to waste and the children are able to focus on learning!”

Once food is purchased, it cannot be resold, and when purchasing a school lunch, students are required to take the different options offered. This is a win-win program for everyone involved as we look to reduce waste and fuel our students to be ready to learn.

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