A student at Northwood High School in the Irvine Unified School District is helping to fight food waste and hunger, one bagel at a time.
It all started with a visit to a local bagel shop in early 2020, when Nithin Parthasarathy, 15, watched workers throw portions of unused bagels in the trash. It was at that moment he created a vision of turning eateries’ leftover bagels into food for the hungry.
And now, nearly a year later, Parthasarathy’s vision has turned into a non-profit business — the Zero Waste Initiative — that distributes bagels to hungry people across the county.
According to a recent article in the OC Register, Parthasarathy has distributed more than $100,000 worth of bagels to hungry people across the county. He was also one of 10 youths nationwide to be awarded a $500 Earth Day scholarship this month from the National Society of High School Scholars Foundation.
Parthasarathy told the Register he hopes his efforts help raise awareness about the disparity between food waste and food insecurity.
“No matter where I go to college, I want to expand,” he said. “No matter where I go, I want to continuing growing this important initiative.”
And here are some of the other stories we’ve been following this week:
- The U.S. Department of Agriculture will continue reimbursing schools and childcare centers for free meals to all students regardless of their income through the 2021-22 school year.
- The Newport-Mesa Unified School District this week welcomed thousands of elementary students to campus for the first full day of in-person instruction since March 2020.
- The Orange County School Nurses Organization is seeking nominations for qualified candidates who exemplify excellence in school nursing.
- A former Corona del Mar High School student has written her first children’s book, inspired by her own experiences as a visually impaired person.
- For the second year in a row, most Los Angeles Unified students — with the exception of 11th-graders — won’t be taking the Smarter Balanced standardized test that’s usually mandated by the state each spring.
- Held virtually for the second year in a row, the Orange County Science and Engineering Fair drew over 300 Orange County students who competed for medals, special awards and scholarships.
- Three OC campuses retain their status as “California Schools to Watch” for demonstrating academic excellence, social equity and responsiveness to the needs of young adolescents.
- To support the growth of civic learning and student advocacy across the county, OCDE on Thursday hosted a special symposium titled “Celebrating Democracy in the OC: Supporting the State Seal of Civic Engagement.”
- In related news, 14 Orange County schools have been recognized by the California Courts system for building exemplary civic learning programs and creating service-learning opportunities.
- And finally, OCDE’s Inside the Outdoors program is partnering with OC Waste & Recycling to launch a special zero-waste challenge for a week during the month of May.
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