Calling All K-12 Schools: Join the Fight to Reduce Food Waste

2016-09-09

Join the School Nutrition Foundation in the Fight to Reduce Food Waste

You may have recently heard about the School Cafeteria Discards Assessment Project (SCrAP) that is being conducted nationwide to gather data that would aid in significantly reducing the food waste in schools. The Environmental Research & Education Foundation (EREF)—a non-profit organization that funds and directs scientific research and educational initiatives for waste management practices—in collaboration with the School Nutrition Foundation (SNF), is requesting the help of elementary, middle and high schools, as well as K-12 institutions, across the United States to gather data to quantify both school waste and related waste, such as packaging, containers, etc. The SCrAP project will gather information on the quantity of waste generated in school cafeterias and obtain an understanding of how this waste is managed both at the school and after it is hauled away.

In addition to valuable data, SCrAP could provide benefits to schools, such as:

  • Educating students/school staff regarding more sustainable waste management strategies
  • Reducing unnecessary food waste
  • Reducing food costs to schools
  • Developing ways to better handle institutional waste

Joining the fight against food waste is as easy as 1, 2, 3...

  1. Sign your school up as a participant in the programs by visiting www.erefdn.org.
  2. Select your school’s participation level.
    • Purple (Questionnaire Only): The basic level of participation involves answering a questionnaire about the school’s waste management practices.
    • Blue (Questionnaire & Weight Measurements): The second level includes completing the questionnaire, as well as weighing the cafeteria waste bins 3 to 5 times. Each weight measurement activity usually takes about 30 minutes and can be done either during or after the lunch period.
    • Gold (Questionnaire & A Few More Weight Measurement): The third level is the same as the Blue level except you agree to measure cafeteria waste bins 6 to 10 times. Doing just a few extra measurements provides much more useful information, such as understanding how much the waste stream changes during the school year and whether different menu items affect how much waste is created.
  3. Complete the questionnaire (and schedule measurement activities depending on your level of participation).

SCrAP participants will receive waste-related educational materials for the classroom, a snapshot report tailored for your school (Blue and Gold levels) and the chance to win money to support your school, up to a maximum of $1,500.

For more information or to register your school, please visit the EREF website or download the flyer. You can also view a video about the program and one on how to get involved

Contact Us

120 Waterfront Street, Suite 300
National Harbor, MD 20745
servicecenter@schoolnutrition.org  

Tel (301) 686-3100
Fax (301) 686-3115

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