Addressing Food Waste in Schools
Food Connects Launches Program to Address Food Waste in Schools
[BRATTLEBORO, VT] Thanks to a two-year $55,550 grant from the Claneil Foundation
, Food Connects will increase support to child nutrition professionals, and their school partners, to reduce food waste and increase food access.
In a single year, K–12 schools in the US throw out an estimated $1.2 billion worth of food. This grant is well-timed for the schools Food Connects works with as the July 1st, 2020 Universal Recycling deadline approaches, after which all food scraps are banned from landfills. Food waste leads to big negative effects for school communities: food service dollars wasted, increased trash removal and composting demands on facilities staff, and lost opportunities to address food insecurity for our most vulnerable students. Food Connects will be working closely with food service directors throughout the region to improve food access while also decreasing waste.
Over the next two years, Food Connects will engage in three key activities with local and regional partners. These activities include:
piloting promising practices at 10 schools,
researching and documenting at least 3 best practices, and
disseminating best practices to 500 stakeholders throughout New England and beyond.
“We’re looking forward to diving deeper into the issues of food waste and food access,” says Conor Floyd, Food Connects’ Farm to School Program Manager. “Along with our partners, we’re excited to uncover novel solutions and streamline processes to make best practices accessible to every school.”
Food Connects is an entrepreneurial non-profit that delivers locally produced food as well as educational and consulting services aimed at transforming local food systems. The Food Hub aggregates and delivers from over 70 local farms and food producers to over 140 buyers in southeast Vermont, southwest New Hampshire, and western Massachusetts. Their educational services focus Farm to School programming. Acknowledged as a statewide leader, the program supports over 30 schools to increase local food purchasing, school meal participation, and food, farm, and nutrition education. Together these core programs contribute to a vibrant local economy by increasing local food purchases by schools and improving students’ nutrition and academic performance. Additionally, Food Connects is frequently hired to provide leadership and consulting services for efforts aimed at transforming local food systems in the New England region.