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“Share Tables” Are Popping Up In School Lunchrooms, And People Wonder Why It Took So Long

Multiple stories often go viral when some generous person pays for an entire school’s student lunches. One girl raised thousands of dollars to give students in her school district snacks in case they weren’t able to afford it. Others anonymously write checks to schools so that children with overdue lunch accounts can actually receive a hot lunch.

One way that students are helping each other to combat this problem is to set up “Share Tables,” where unopened leftovers are placed during lunchtime. If a student is still hungry or hasn’t gotten a lunch that day, they can stop by the share table and pick up a snack.
The tables are usually run by students who want to help out, and there are no requirements as to who can pick up a snack. Everyone is welcome if they are hungry, and some students use the table to exchange items that they don’t want for items that they do!

Without the stigma attached to the “free meal” program, many students are able to feel included without feeling shamed.When the tables have leftovers after lunch, the food is sent home with students who might not have snacks at home, and then to local charities, churches, or homeless shelters.

The goal is to reduce food waste. Without these tables, the food would just end up in the dumpster.

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