Food Waste Reduction
The goal of food waste reduction in Food Services was inspired, in part, by the Food Waste Club at BVSD's Douglass Elementary, which recently received the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's President's Environmental Youth Award. The club was formed to raise awareness about food waste and to decrease the amount of food discarded each day at school. The club assessed the waste created in the cafeteria during lunchtime, made a series of posters to educate students about food waste and took the message a step further by producing a video to share with their school community.
“Food waste is a really big problem. Every day Americans waste enough food to fill a football stadium. We could do a lot better.”
Annalise Myatt, Douglass Elementary School fifth grader
The efforts at Douglass Elementary were so inspiring that the concept is expanding throughout BVSD's School Food Project. With the help of an intern from the Colorado School of Public Health, the Douglass club’s food waste assessment was replicated in six additional school lunchrooms as a part of the EPA’s Food Recovery Challenge.
BVSD Food Services also received a $10,000 grant from Boulder County Resource Conservation Division’s Zero Waste funding program in 2017, $24,000 from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment's Recycling Resources Economic Opportunity mini-grant program in 2018, and an additional $9,400 from Boulder County Resource Conservation Division’s Zero Waste funding program in 2019 to install a total of ten food waste tracking systems from LeanPath. This equipment will provide data about what is being composted in the district’s kitchens and cafeteria, which all together prepare and serve nearly 13,000 scratch-cooked meals daily. From trimmings to overproduction, Food Services will have a better idea of where food is being wasted and how to make improvements in waste reduction at every part of the production process.