When Scott Gerdes looked around the lunchroom, he noticed a large amount of food going to waste. “Just go stand in the elementary school cafeteria during the school year and watch the kids,” said Gerdes, Faribault Public Schools finance and operations director. “They sit down, take two bites of their food, get up, throw 90% of it in the trash cans, dump out most of their milk into those pails and go outside to play. Nobody gets full doing that.”

To address the issue, Sodexo, the district’s food service provider, and Afro Deli and Grill, a restaurant chain in the Twin Cities that serves African and Mediterranean cuisine, are working on a partnership with the district to provide students with food that is more culturally appropriate for the increasingly diverse population. This summer they are doing a trial run at Faribault Middle School.

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