Mid North Coast schools aim to cut down on food wastage
CROSSMAGLEN Public School has been swapping the lunch break timetable this term ensuring students play before they eat as part of a new pilot program.
The Lunchbox Leftovers program, in collaboration with MidWaste, the NSW Government’s Love Food Hate Waste program and BehaviourWorks Australia aims to cut waste, help families save money, and have a positive impact on the environment.
In Australia, every student wastes an average of 3kg of food each year, with students throwing away 3.5 million uneaten sandwiches, 3 million pieces of whole fruit and 1.3 million items of packaged foods.
The program is being rolled out in nine schools across the Mid North Coast and is trialling three innovative program implementations – Make Your Own Lunch, Take Leftovers Home and Play Before Eating.
Crossmaglen has chosen to take part in the Play Before Eating implementation. Children often aren’t hungry or are keen to play when the lunch bell rings. Changing the timetable so students play first then eat before class aims to increase the amount of food eaten and reduce waste.
School Principal Renee Stokes-Marshall said Crossmaglen was pleased to participate in the food waste reduction trial and looked forward to seeing the results.
“We know that when food is thrown away, all the valuable resources that went into producing, packaging, transporting and selling that food is also wasted,” Stokes-Marshall said.
“The Lunchbox Leftovers program is a great opportunity for our school to trial an innovative sustainability action while also helping our school families to save money. By cutting the amount of food wasted at school and at home, families could save up to $4,000 a year.”
Students are also participating in a bees wax wraps making workshop as a fun, interactive component of the program.
MidWaste Project Officer Wendy Grant said all families could learn how to reduce food waste at home by signing up for the free online Food Smart program.
“Food Smart includes easy, step-by-step guides to help you reduce your food waste and keep more money in your pocket,” Ms Grant said.
This project is supported by the NSW Environment Protection Authority as part of the Waste Less Recycle More initiative, funded from the waste levy.
To sign up for the free online Food Smart program, head to midwaste.com.au/food-smart.