Food Waste Reduction in School Meals
Schools have a special role in providing nutritious, well-balanced meals for students and to educate the next generation about environmental stewardship through reduction of waste.
Food Waste Resources
- Iowa Schools Food Waste Minimization Toolkit - Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Iowa Department of Education (DOE) partnered on a pilot project in schools that included onsite waste sorts and assessments.
- Iowa Waste Exchange (IWE) Representatives - Available to help provide assistance to industry, businesses, local government and schools in reducing waste. The map provides contact information for each region of Iowa.
- Prevent Food Waste - USDA Team Nutrition booklet discusses ways to reduce, recover, and recycle food before it goes to waste. Get ideas for your school by reading tips for school nutrition professionals, teachers, parents, students, and school administrators.
- Plate Waste USDA Research Brief - How food service directors minimized plate waste in school meal programs while implementing provisions resulting from the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 (HHFKA).
- Guide to Conducting Student Food Waste Audits - (USDA and EPA Resource) Student food waste audits are a quick way to learn which kinds of foods go uneaten by students in a school cafeteria.
Sharing Table Fact Sheet - Iowa Department of Education, Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach collaborated on the development of this resource.
Des Moines Public Schools - "No Thank You Box" program article
Schools have option to submit two different types of plans to the Iowa Department of Education to allow for TCS (Time and Temperature Control for Safety) foods to be placed on their Share Tables: Temperature Control or Time Control. Contact Carrie Scheidel for additional guidance and procedure documents.