Food Waste Education at School

40 percent of all food in the U.S. is wasted. While all this food is left uneaten, Maine has the highest rate of food insecurity in New England, with 1 in 5 Maine children being food insecure and 1 in 8 adults. 

We need the creativity and passion of young people to reduce food waste and feed food-insecure people. While Maine adults are trying to break habits that cause food waste, we can help enforce new, healthy habits for young Mainers. 

To join the Maine solution, start teaching your students about food waste today. To learn more about how to begin food recycling and food waste education in your school, contact Susanne Lee at

Curriculum Packages

Elementary Curriculum

Educational Slideshows/Videos

Watch these educational videos and slideshows to learn the basics about food waste- like how to prevent food waste and why recycling whenever possible is so important.

Lesson Plans

Browse the lesson plans below to use these hands-on activities. These materials are best suited for teacher-led settings.

Supplementary Materials

Looking for materials to further your students knowledge of food systems outside of a traditional structured class? Browse these extra materials below.

Meal Cards

Hand these meal cards out to your students to take home. Each meal card contains a recipe to teach students and their families how to make new and creative meals out of common leftovers.

High School Curriculum

image of high school students in class working
In-Class CurriculumCOMING SOON!
image of several high school students laughing and high fiving
Special Program CurriculumCOMING SOON!
Photo of a cafeteria food tray with almonds, celery and carrots, milk, apples, and a sandwich.
Cafeteria GuideCOMING SOON!

Do you want to bring food system education to your school or youth program?

We are looking to expand our education program to more Maine schools and youth programs. If you work with elementary or high school students and want to get involved in food system education, please fill out the form below so that we can contact you!

Start the Conversation with Your Pre-K Students!

Reading List*:

Food Waste-Specific Books

  1. Compost Stew: An A to Z Recipe for the Earth – by Mary McKenna Siddals
  2. Garbage Helps Our Garden Grow: A Compost Story – by Linda Glaser
  3. What’s Sprouting in My Trash: A Book about Composting – by Esther Porter

General Earth-Friendly Books

  1. 10 Things I Can Do to Help My World – by Melanie Walsh
  2. Ada’s Violin: The Story of the Recycled Orchestra of Paraguay – by Susan Hood
  3. Earth Day– Hooray! – by Stuart J. Murphy
  4. One Little Bag: An Amazing Journey – by Henry Cole
  5. One Plastic Bag: Isatou Ceesay and the Recycling Women of the Gambia – by Miranda Paul and Elizabeth Zunon
  6. Peppa Pig and the Earth Day Adventure – by Candlewick Press

*Nearly all titles can be found on Amazon