An elementary school cafeteria lunch line is not like a restaurant buffet, where you pick this or that. Federal law requires students to take a certain number of items including a fruit or vegetable. Everyone's serving size is the same, which is too much for some kindergartners and not enough for some husky fifth graders. Until recently, kids just played with food they didn't want and then threw it away. But not anymore, at least not at Aloma Elementary School in central Florida, where unwanted food items go to the Share Table instead of the trash can.
For example, kids who like bananas but not milk, can leave their milk on the table and take a banana, and vice-versa. If the lunch serving is too big for little kids, they can leave some on the Share Table instead of tossing it in the trash. Bigger kids can grab an extra banana or yogurt or chips from the table if they're still hungry. Food sold to students in a school cafeteria cannot be reused in the cafeteria, but staff make sure kids who need more food at home take freely from the Share Table. Believe it or not, the Share Table cuts down on the mess in the cafeteria and school custodians love it.