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Bartlesville schools implement 'share table' at lunch

Posted at 2:31 PM, Sep 18, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-14 09:58:52-04

BARTLESVILLE, Okla. -- Woodrow Wilson Elementary School is the most recent participant of the share table program in the Bartlesville school district, which helps prevent hunger among students.

Sometimes childrens' eyes can be bigger than their stomach, causing perfectly good food to be thrown out.

"We really want to manage that supply chain and make sure that viable food is going into a student versus into a trash can," said Jon Beckloff, Director of Child Nutrition.

Woodrow Wilson Elementary in Bartlesville implemented a share table last week in the cafeteria, after the idea was brought to administration from parents in the district.

"The teacher kind of talks about, hey does any student have anything they haven’t eaten, haven’t opened, if they do we can take it to the share table," said Beckloff.

It's a simple pan placed on a table in the cafeteria. Teachers and PTO parents collect unopened food and put it on the share table for other students to enjoy.

"Our older students are constantly asking, what’s available, the boys are excited about, is there an extra milk," said Angie Linthacum, Principal of Woodrow Wilson Elementary.

The share table prevents wasteful habits and helps students not go to class, or home on an empty stomach.

"The apples or any of that stuff, we can actually cool it down and send it home with some of our students that are in that food insecure area that the school has identified," said Beckloff.

Principal Linthacum says throwing out unopened food is a hard habit to break especially for the little ones, but the more they practice at school the more money parents and schools save. Plus, the kids will be full and focused on learning.

"They get in that routine and they know what’s packaged and what’s not packaged because they think, is this something that can go on the share table, is this something that can’t go on the share table," said Linthacum.

The share table started at Hoover Elementary school. There are two schools in the district that haven't implemented the share table yet. The high school is starting the share table program in October.

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