Schooling Waste

Seeing the USDA involved in fighting food waste is encouraging. Especially when it’s in the realm of school lunch. That’s why I found this blog post on solutions to school food waste and the corresponding infographic (see below) such a pleasant surprise.

The post counters the popular misconception that schools are required to trash all student leftovers, including sealed packages, unopened milk or whole fruit. As mentioned in this article, schools are covered by a 2011 addition to the Good Samaritan Act, inserted into an appropriations bill by Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va. That means that school cafeterias don’t have to be the food waste factories that most are today.

Most, but not all. For example, Chesterbrook Elementary of McLean, Virginia–highlighted in the USDA blog post–teaches students to separate out food worthy of donation. Parent volunteers then donate that food the local food pantry. I now have a new favorite school.

The post also highlights the tireless work of the Food Bus non-profit, which collects and distributes excess food from schools and teaches kids why wasting food is too uncool for school.

Anyway, here’s the infographic:

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