Buenosia Carol/Pexels
Schools Cut Back On Cafeteria Waste By Encouraging Students To Share Leftovers

The federal school lunch program demands that kids pick a certain number of items to put on their tray as they move through the cafeteria, according to the Orlando Sentinel. But anyone who has ever spent time with kids during a meal know that getting a child to eat something is considerably harder than getting them to put it on their plate. Lots of food ends up in the trash, creating excess waste.

At the same time, there are kids who can't afford school lunch, or who have limited resources at home for after-school snacks and meals. There are even disturbing stories of some cafeteria workers throwing out full meals in front of children due to unpaid lunch bills.

About 20 schools in Orange County, Florida, are trying a new experiment to cut down on the amount of food that goes to waste and the number of children going hungry. They've established "share tables," where kids can put anything from their meal that they don't want to eat, and other kids can grab what they want to take home or eat for lunch as well.

Excess food from the share tables are picked up by local churches, who then distribute it to the homeless from their food pantries.

Pastor Stan Reinemund of Redeemer Lutheran Church told the Orlando Sentinel that without the school's program the food would "literally go in the dumpsters." 

School officials also say the share table program helps with balancing food intake according to age, as kindergarteners can rarely finish big meals, while older kids want second and third helpings. It's also been a benefit to custodians, as the kids are less inclined to mess around with their food when they know it can be put on the share table later.

It's also a great tool for learning; 40 percent of food goes to waste in the United States every year, and that percentage is roughly similar between children and adults, according to EcoWatch. Teaching kids to consider their food waste is a great lesson to learn early.

FoodThese Edible Straws Are The Most Fun Way To Save The Environment

More than 500 million straws are used in the U.S. daily, and all these will sit in a landfill for at least 200 years. To combat this waste, the founders of Loliware have invented the Lolistraw, a biodegradable and edible straw made out of algae.

6 days ago
FoodUK Grocery Chain Sells Food Past 'Best By' Date To Combat Waste

U.K. grocery chain East of England is cutting back on the country's food waste problem by offering perfectly good food that's passed its "best by" date at a steep discount.

7 days ago
FoodAmerica's Biggest Shopping Mall Now Offers Vegan Fast Food

Mall of America is welcoming a vegan chain from Texas into its food court, so vegans can find what they need in literally every department.

1 week ago
FoodPizza Hut Now Offers Vegan Pizza In The Entire United Kingdom

Pizza Hut tested out their vegan pizza recipe in a few locations, and the success of their product has lead them to expand to over 200 locations.

2 weeks ago
Stay Green
Sign up for our daily newsletter
Quantcast