West Virginia looks to curb food excess in cafeterias

Photo: USDA
Published: Oct. 11, 2018 at 3:36 PM EDT
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The West Virginia Department of Education is aiming to curb food waste and address childhood hunger in the state.

House Bill 4478 states that counties are required to incorporate the use of 'shared tables' to manage excess food in school cafeterias.

"Shared tables means that any extra food that is available that students do not want, that is packaged or whole, can be put on a table," said Michele Blatt, Assistant State Superintendent of the Division of Support and Accountability. "Another child can pick it up if they need seconds or want additional food."

The food must be consistent with federal, state, and local food safety guidelines, and must have come from the cafeteria. The Office of Child Nutrition is responsible for this task and serves as a resource for counties as they implement the policy.

"We have a lot of students that the only meal they receive are during the school day," said Blatt. "So this allows some additional food for those students to take home or to eat later in the day."

Blatt says Grant, Hardy, and Pendleton Counties are working to finalize their policies.