Lee County School District partners with Harry Chapin Food Bank to fight student hunger

A new program aimed at reducing school waste while helping the hungry right here in Lee County kicks off Friday.

Its takes a lot of hard work to prepare school lunches, but it’s even harder to throw away untouched food for Dolly Bufter, who works at Villas Elementary School.

“We have about 13 boxes today…this is food that has been processed through the line and children decided they didn’t want to eat it,” Bufter said.

She knows some of her students could use the leftovers.

“You feel terrible to know that some kids have to eat a bowl of cereal for dinner because their parents have to work two jobs to pay the bills,” Bufter said.

That’s why you’ll find a share basket on every table at Villas Elementary, allowing students to set aside food they don’t want or take extra if they are still hungry.

“We get about a case of milk everyday…we have a person take it out and carry it in a basket and gives away to 30 or 40 kids,” Bufter said.

Now the Lee County School District’s new partnership with Harry Chapin Food Bank will reduce even more food waste while helping the hungry in our community.

“We’re trying to make sure we give them to people who need them rather than throw them away,” Said Lauren Cochois, Director of Food and Nutrition Services.

The donations are planned around long weekends, like this one Bufter knows the produce sitting in their fridge won’t be good when they go to prepare Tuesday’s meal.

“I feel it’s so important not to waste the food when people are going hungry so I’m going to really try and make sure that we collect as much food as we can,” Bufter said.

Lee schools next big donation will take place on Monday, October 14, which is a day students have off for the end of the first quarter.

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