Greensboro, local nonprofits using unserved cafeteria food to feed children in need

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GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Every day, leftover food is thrown away at school cafeterias across the Piedmont Triad.

Now, the City of Greensboro and the Out of the Garden Project nonprofit are working to make sure that food no longer goes to waste.

Thanks to a grant from the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro, they’ve teamed up to launch the Food Reclamation Initiative.

The goal is to reclaim unserved food from 12 school cafeterias every afternoon, repackage it in accordance with state regulations at First Presbyterian Church kitchen, then serve it to children in need at Greensboro recreation centers.

“We rank number one in an area we don't want to rank in, and that's hunger. It's not only something we want to do, it's something we feel it's our responsibility. We have access to people all throughout the city. We have relationships with these people who need it most, so we want to be part of fixing this problem,” said Wade Walcutt, director of Greensboro Parks and Recreation

Hot meals are already being served daily at Peeler Recreation Center, Glenwood Recreation Center and the Caldcleugh Boys and Girls Club.

Once the initiative expands to include 12 schools, Out of the Garden Project Executive Director Don Milholin expects to reclaim 300,000 pounds of unserved food over the course of one school year.

“There's more than 50,000 public school children who qualify for free or reduced meals. Many of those would go to bed hungry. This is a way to partner with the city and really do something amazing,” said Milholin.

The Rock and Wrap It Up! organization is also a partner in the initiative.

Organizers say many volunteers will be needed to make the Food Reclamation Initiative happen. Those interested in participating should contact the Out of the Garden Project.