School leftovers become meals for thousands in need

SDUSD looks to expand food recovery program
Posted at 7:43 PM, Apr 10, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-10 22:43:03-04

The San Diego Unified School District wants to expand a program that is feeding thousands of hungry people for free.  89 district schools are currently saving the leftovers in their cafeterias and donating the food to local non-profits as part of a new Food Recovery Program.

“It’s just the left overs that were made, prepared, and were not basically sold or given to the students,” said Janet Whited, SDUSD’s Recycling Specialist.

Since September, the program has saved and donated 30,000 pounds of food. Whited said the district wants to expand the program to all 170 schools by the end of the year because one in six San Diego County residents need a meal.

“That’s like 435,000 of our friends and neighbors here in San Diego County that don’t know where their next meal is coming from,” she said.

“It’s a whole attitude change,” said Holly Tracy with Volunteers of America.

Tracy takes care of adult clients with special needs in Spring Valley.  She said she used to spend roughly $4,000 a month on food.  The Food Recovery Program cut that down to about $1,000.

“I’ve provided new windows for my residents," Tracy said. "You know that cost $10,000."

“It’s like a lot of food left over and I think it’s great to know that it’s going back to somebody who actually needs it,” said Hoover High School student Destiny Thwreatt.