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If you’ve ever volunteered in a school lunchroom, you’ve seen it: bags of half-eaten chips and cookies, or uneaten fruit, veggies, sandwiches and other food in overflowing trash cans. It’s clear that school food waste is a problem. According to USDA, K-12 Schools throw away roughly $1.2 billion worth of food each year, and up to 40% of all the food produced in the U.S. (worth about $218 billion annually) ends up in landfills. The federal government is calling for a for a 50-percent reduction in this waste by 2030. The issue is complex, but several schools have started taking active steps to reduce this waste. Here are ten things you can do to reduce waste starting now.
apple on a regular basis, you have your answer. Grocery stores now sell small apples, perfect for younger children’s appetites. Another option is to cut apples into slices and sprinkle with cinnamon or orange juice to preserve them. Crispy Green’s Crispy Fruit comes in individual portion-sized packages so is perfect for snacking and stays fresh and won’t end up smushed in the bottom of your children’s backpacks.
While lunchroom waste represents a small amount of the overall food waste in the United States, it’s still a critical part because it’s an opportunity to instill in the next generation of consumers the value of conserving food. So, if you’ve got school-aged children, take note. This is a chance to teach them to be better stewards of the environment and about the value of food, too.