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Welding students collaborate to make Sharing Stations for breakfast and lunch services

One of the most recent projects for Yuma Union High School District welding students doubled as way of meeting the needs of students around them.

As part of the SkillsUSA Regional Welding Fabrication Competition, welders from Gila Ridge, Kofa, San Luis and Yuma along with others from Arizona Western College and Parker High School completed Sharing Stations for YUHSD’s student nutrition department. Kofa welders pose with share carts

“The share station provides an opportunity for students to place unwanted food or beverage items that they choose not to consume,” YUHSD Student Nutrition Director Grace Pruit said.

The carts, which will be introduced at all YUHSD campuses for the start of the 2019-20 school year, will be placed next to all breakfast carts in the morning and near serving lines in the cafeteria during lunch. They are open to students only and at no cost.

For the welding students, it was a challenging opportunity to give back to their schools.

“We did one [cart] beforehand, so we didn’t go into the competition blind, but it was still very difficult getting into that competition mindset,” Kofa senior Jesus Barba said. “It’s like we are going to leave our mark here for a while because they’re going to use them and if we ever come back, we can be like, ‘Yeah, I made that.’”

The idea came about as a way to reduce lunch room waste. All YUHSD students are entitled to no cost breakfast and lunch, which includes 4-5 components or food groups—meats/proteins, grains, fruits, vegetables and milk. However, many times students are required to take foods he or she may not eat. The share station is a way of encouraging sharing of unwanted items and preventing them from being thrown away.

What can be placed on the share stations:

Pre-packaged food, unopened wrapped food and beverages, or food items with a peel. Unopened milk, juice, cheese sticks, yogurt, and fruits or vegetables. Unopened crackers, cereal bars, and chips. Unwrapped whole fruits with an inedible peel, such as oranges or bananas. No items from home can be placed on the Share Station.

Eric Patten