Indiana School Is Making Sure No Kid Goes Home Hungry By Turning Leftover Food Into Take-Home Meals

iStock.com/Steve Debenport
iStock.com/Steve Debenport

A new program at the Elkhart school district in Indiana is turning food that would otherwise go to waste into take-home meals for kids, WSBT reports.

Elkhart students have the option to get both breakfast and lunch from the cafeteria. For some kids, the meals the school provides them are the only steady source of food in their lives.

The school system has teamed up with the local food rescue Cultivate to develop a way to keep kids fed when they're not at school. As is the case in most school cafeterias, the cooks at Elkhart over-prepare food so no kid goes unfed, and then toss out whatever isn't eaten by the end of the day. Now, Cultivate visits the cafeteria three times a week to salvage any perfectly good leftovers and package them into frozen meals.

At the end of each week, 20 students from food-insecure homes leave school with a backpack filled with eight frozen meals—enough to get them through the weekend. Cultivate and Elkhart are currently doing a trial of the program at Woodland Elementary with plans to expand it to more schools in the district.

For some kids, finding food outside of school isn't their only problem: The debts that pile up for students who can't pay cafeteria prices is also an issue in the U.S. Fundraisers have been launched in recent years to pay off tens of thousands of dollars worth of lunch debt in school districts around the country.

[h/t WSBT]

New Trapper Keeper Game Lets You Relive the Glory Days of Adolescence

Big G Creative
Big G Creative

Eighties and '90s kids know that there was nothing cooler than carrying around a Trapper Keeper, a colorful binder that let you show off a bit of your personal style.

Turns out, Trapper Keepers still exist, but they're not as prevalent as they were a few decades ago. That could be about to change, though, as ACCO (the company that makes the Keepers) has partnered with board game publisher Big G Creative to bring the school supply back to a new generation of students—and their parents—in the form of a card game called, what else, the Trapper Keeper Game.

Trapper Keeper

"The game challenges players to school the competition by collecting cards with the most points and stashing them in their Trapper Keeper® folders,” according to a press release. "Cards include homework, quizzes, parent signatures, report cards, detention slips, notes from classmates, and field trip slips. After the last bell card is played by the assigned Teacher’s Pet, the players tally up doodles and points to determine the winner.”

All of the game's components are stashed away in an authentic Trapper Keeper, which makes it a fun blast from the past for parents. "The game’s authentic Trapper Keeper® makes it a fun conversation piece, giving families the opportunity to share memories of their elementary and high school days," Shannon Swindle, Big G Creative's product and communications manager, said in a press statement.

The game, which takes just 25 minutes to complete, is designed for two to five players ages 8 and up and is available exclusively in Target stores nationwide. It’s available in three designs—rainbow unicorn, palm tree sunset, and psychedelic outer space—and includes 81 school paper cards, 11 bell cards, five mini Trapper Keeper folders, a teacher’s pet marker, score pad, and pencil.

For adults, it’s a great way to take a stroll down memory lane without having to relive the horrors that come with being a teenager.

General Mills' Box Tops for Education Program Is Going Digital

Photoboyko/iStock via Getty Images
Photoboyko/iStock via Getty Images

In 1996, General Mills began adding redemption offers to its line of cereals. Named Box Tops for Education, the program allowed consumers to clip the offer from the tops of products like Cheerios and forward them to their child’s school, which could redeem each slip for 10 cents; that money was then used to buy school supplies and fund educational events. In the past two decades, the cardboard-based program has paid out nearly $914 million to schools nationwide. Now, it’s getting a digital upgrade.

General Mills is introducing a new app that will allow people collecting box tops to photograph or scan their receipts instead. After buying a participating General Mills product, consumers can submit their proof of purchase by capturing the receipt. The app will automatically donate 10 cents to the school of their choice. Districts typically use the funds for things like iPads, playground equipment, and parties or trips.

Participants will have 14 days from the time they purchase a product to submit their receipt. The company eventually plans to phase out the offer from boxes. Until then, consumers will be free to submit the physical clipping and the receipt, doubling the value of the purchase.

The move to the app has not been universally praised. On the official Box Tops for Education Facebook page, some users have complained that scanning their receipts might disclose to General Mills their consumer spending habits. Others believe that contributors who don’t have smartphones will simply give up on the program. But the move was greeted with relief by others, as snipping the analog box tops can be time-consuming. The offers had to be cut cleanly and packaged in baggies of no more than 50 tops each. Organizers were left to sort through submitted box tops, which could number in the thousands at some schools.

The app is available for iPhone or Android users and can be downloaded via links on the General Mills Box Tops for Education website.

[h/t South Florida Sun Sentinel]

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