Hangry in the school caf: Sharing some food is off the table

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WALLINGFORD — Those lessons about sharing? At lunchtime in Connecticut schools, they come with an asterisk.

School officials in a Connecticut town are criticizing new restrictions on lunchroom “share tables,” which encourage students to donate uneaten food for any classmates who may be hungry.

The concept has been promoted by the U.S. Agriculture Department as a way to reduce waste, but it is up to local governments to determine what health codes will allow. Under a Connecticut policy updated in January, items such as unopened milk and most varieties of fruit are off the table.

Wallingford schools superintendent Salvatore Menzo says he worries the policy change will deprive needy students including those who might go without breakfast at home.

Connecticut’s Department of Education added the new restrictions after consulting with public health officials. A department spokeswoman says student health and safety is a top priority.