SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — At Florin High School, every student gets a free lunch, even if they can afford to pay for it, and CBS13 has discovered that a lot of that free food ends up in the trash.
“If I can, I ask if I can have what they’re throwing away, because I hate to see food go to waste,” said senior Alex Newal.
Every day he watches as students take their free lunch and toss what he estimates is a quarter of that food in the trash.
“There are certain people, they don’t like the fact they’re throwing away free food, so they’ll set it on the table,” said junior Krysta Van.
She says some students don’t want to see the food go to waste, but they’re not allowed to take it out of the cafeteria. The school is worried if students take the food out, it could go bad before they eat it, and hold the school liable.
“They usually just toss it in the trash when they finish their big meal.”
Throwing away food is just the beginning of a drain on your taxpayer dollars.
Last year, 14 percent of students paid for their own meals because they didn’t qualify for free lunch.
This year, Florin High is having every family fill out an application to see how many qualify for free lunch. But without even knowing that number, every student is eating for free.
“The federal government allows, if 80 percent or more of the school is eligible for free lunch, the paid students, we would feed them for free,” said Michelle Drake with the Elk Grove Unified School District.
In other words, Florin High is opting to provide free lunch to the entire student body on your dime.
“People should take advantage of the fact that even if we don’t qualify, you still get a free lunch, so you should eat what you’ve gotten,” said Van.