Food Recovery Program
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The Food Recovery Program is a pilot initiative started at Beachside Montessori Village. Through a partnership between Beachside Montessori Village, BCPS Food & Nutrition Services, Kids Can and Broward Outreach, Beachside is piloting a food rescue project to reduce food waste in the school cafeteria, which results in reducing the school’s carbon footprint, while supporting hunger relief in the community. Students are encouraged to donate leftover unopened, uneaten or unpeeled items from their lunch trays that they don’t want to eat. These collected foods are donated to Broward Outreach, which then distributes them to the community.
Procedure: Items that can be rescued include: unopened milk cartons, juice, fruit cups, yogurt, cheese sticks, hummus, cereal bowls, raisin boxes, crackers, ices, whole bananas, and oranges. The students place these items on the share table rather than discarded. Broward Outreach will receive the rescued food products for distribution in the community and the school will track the amount of food items rescued to measure the impact.
Background: Food in the landfill decomposes and creates methane gas, which is 21times more potent than CO2. Over 1 billion food items are wasted annually in U.S. schools. A food waste audit conducted by students in our Sustainability class recovered 289 unwrapped, unpeeled food items. This converts to 40 pounds of greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere each day. Keeping food out of the landfill significantly reduces greenhouse gases. Additionally, the partnership allows the school to tackle hunger issues in Hollywood and Broward County by rescuing unconsumed food from the school cafeteria. The food that is rescued is distributed to the community through Broward Outreach.
This pilot program is being expanded to other BCPS (traditional) schools. If any Broward County public schools (traditional) are interested in participating, follow the steps below:
1) Register your school to be a part of the Food Rescue Pilot here and you will be contacted on the next informational meeting:
2) Start your school program using the following resources:
- Food Recovery Checklist
- USDA Guidance on the Food Donation Program in Child Nutrition Programs
- List of Pantries in Broward County
- Food and Nutrition Services Department Temperature Log Sheet
- USDA's Guide to Conducting Student Food Waste Audits
- Emerson Act Legal Fact Sheet
- Sample Parent Letter
3) Track your Impact - this link will take you outside of the BCPS site
For more information, contact Elaine Fiore, firstname.lastname@example.org
Indian Trace Elementary third graders are featured in this tweet regarding the giant cabbages they grew from their garden.