Realizing that hunger can affect students’ ability to learn, Deer Lakes SD is working to eliminate food insecurity among students by implementing Sharing Tables at each of its schools. The tables are available for students to drop off any unwanted food that is prepackaged or take an item or two if they want. Items often include juices, whole fruits, cereals, graham crackers, milk and pastries.

“Studies have consistently shown that students who are hungry tend to struggle in the classroom,” said Food Services Director Jake Douglas in a district press release. “We want our students to be focused on their academic achievement and programs like this one help us achieve that goal.”

Sharing Tables re open to all students, decreasing the stigma sometimes attached to food insecurity. “This is a win-win for everyone,” Douglas added. “Our students are learning about not wasting food and at the same time they are helping out their classmates who may want or need that food.”