The following is a guest post from Lincoln R-3 community relations specialist Audry Henebry.

At Boone Elementary in the Lincoln County R-3 School District the Tigers, or “Boonies” as they like to call themselves, have made it their priority to work hard and be kind this school year.

Around mid-November, building administrators noticed that a large number of food items were being wasted following each of the three lunch shifts.  In looking to combat the waste and fill not-quite-full tummies, Assistant Principal Nichole Rothermich did what any current-day expert does, she turned to social media!  There she found an idea that led to the birth of the Boone Elementary Share Table.

A folding table, a cooler, a laminated sign, and a few volunteers from the Going Green Club and the Share Table was in business.  During each lunch shift, two Going Green Club volunteers man the operation and students are allowed to donate any unwanted, unopened, and allergen-free item from their lunch to the share table. Once finished with the lunch they brought or bought, students may raise their hand and ask to visit the Share Table.  Students are allowed to choose an additional item to eat at no cost.  Any items not utilized are refrigerated and saved for the next day’s breakfast and lunch.

The concept was embraced by the students and the community immediately. Overall, it is a win-win for all students while promoting kindness and service. “Students have started bringing in extra items just to add to the table. They love being able to help each other,” Mrs. Rothermich stated. A majority of the other buildings in the District also participate in some form of the program allowing students to donate unwanted items for consumption by those that are in need of more.

In general, the Lincoln County R-III School District is fortunate to have a very generous community.  In addition to the Share Table, our students benefit from community supported programs like Buddy Bags and Bright Futures.  Buddy Bags supplies just under 400 students with a grocery bag of food weekly to supplement weekend nutrition, and Bright Futures helps building level counselors identify and meet basic student needs within 24 hours.

Central Methodist University