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Schools Can Be Our Nation’s Largest Food Waste Champions

Schools Can Be Our Nation’s Largest Food Waste Champions

Thanks to our generous friends at ReFED for having us as guest bloggers to highlight how schools are an incredible lever for fighting food waste. Below is the article we shared:

ReFED has reported that over 33% of the food supply in the U.S. is wasted and we’re incredibly honored to highlight the ways Eat Real Certified districts are fighting food waste in schools at scale.

If we’re going to tackle this huge problem, we need a huge leverage point. Look no further. It might surprise you to hear this, but schools are the largest restaurant chain in America by location.

And if schools are the largest restaurant chainit means they can be one of the biggest champions of food waste reduction.

Imagine if kids learned the power of reducing food waste early on?

The good news is, it’s already starting to happen. Many schools are taking bold and creative steps to prevent and reduce food waste. Through our award-winning K-12 certification program, we support the innovative schools across the country that are making key changes in reducing food waste while making their meals delicious, nutritious, and more sustainable.

“Eat Real takes one of the most comprehensive approaches to helping schools implement food waste reduction in communities across the country,” says Dana Gunders, Executive Director of ReFED. “They also champion better policies while raising awareness—which all together accelerate systems change.”

School food heroes are tackling this on a daily basis. Across the country, our team nourishes the future by helping these heroes make key changes happen—school district by school district and at the state and national policy levels, too.

Here are 9 key ways Eat Real school districts fight food waste. Try them at your school and at home, too!

1. Make the food delicious, visually appealing, and culturally relevant

Pork Pozole at North Monterey County Unified School District

2. Offer choices

3. Make sure there’s enough time to eat

4. Create bulk solutions—such as milk, condiments, and produce

5. Repurpose food waste

6. Create share tables

7. Schedule recess before lunch

8. Source accurately